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SOLDIERS' HOMES AND SOLDIERS' MONUMENTS. Last year, when the Wallace monument was first people, peers, and king, and reconciled them all to proposed in this country, we acknowledged the the national cause; and, amid ceaseless and pas. debt, aad admitted the justice of paying it. A sionate struggles for national existence, for perleader who in seven short years carved his name sonal and public vengeance, contrived to cultivate, so very deep into his nation's history that it has to encourage, and to extend national commerce, lived for half a millennium, and will be read there and to ally national independence with individual for ever, has a monument more enduring than the industry, eliciting at once from crude materials a pyramids; yet that is no reason for declining to mercantile and a military spirit-and in a selfish embody a people's gratitude in stone. At that age, from a selfish aristocracy and a domineering time, however, we mentioned the propriety of ren. priesthood, gaining popular rights, without the dering the stone that might record the past useful reproach of having sought personal objects for for the future. One French writer says that the 1 personal ends. world might build a memorial of Noah on the same Wallace was the man of the people, and the principle that the Scotch propose to erect one of faithful servant of a monarch in a foreign prison. Wallace. The Frenchman imagines that the land To the people he would have given personal freeis his best memorial, and he is correct; but we dom: to the sovereign a throne independent alike know of no reason against concentrating the land of domestic and foreign superiors. He struck not for this purpose in one spot.
down alone the feudal power of the Norman king, Mankind consult usually the known or presumed but also the feudal strength of the great Norman taste of those whom they wish to be held in re barons. The system of serf-hood existed long membrance, when they select the means of perpe. after his death, but his life secured its death. tuating their name and story. In many cases that The burgbal influences were the roots of political can only be done by ascertaining their habits and freedom; and he planted them. His regency pursuits. The general idea entertained of Sir restored old Saxon customs, and once more made William Wallace is that of a rough but skilful the people a power in the state. We think of warrior, endowed with marvellous strength of arm, him. now as the great national chief in the struggle and courage that never shrunk from any trial. between Scotland and England. Those who read His sword is preserved as an evidence of his per that history aright see in it the olden strife sonal power, and if he used the weapon which tra- between Saxon and Norman-between the aristodition assigns to him, his strength far exceeded cratic and democratic elements of the same racethat of common men.
a strife fought on other fields, for apparently difThis popular notion of Wallace consists with ferent objects, in future times, between Cromwell such authentic history as we possess. It is cor- and Rupert. rect so far as the man is delineated; but one set Sir William Wallace was for his age and in his of peculiarities is described and all the others are age a scholar of liberal attainments ; conversant omitted. Nearly all nations have their heroes, and with the best works of art in Europe, and promany virtues are ascribed to each. The Scottish bably, therefore, a man of taste; fond as all men of hero had the virtues of military courage and skill that character and time were of carved columns in developed very largely, and as they told more stately temples, on which art then chiefly traced strongly with a military people than any others, the evidence of its existence. and were more intelligible perhaps to their bards An old portrait is fondly supposed by some and historians than his political services to Scot. enthusiasts to preserve the features of the man. land; they have been described more fully than his We would not roughly break the dream of a diplomatic qualifications, or than those accomplish: | harmless fancy, but portrait-painting was not in a ments that rather belong to private than to public very advanced state in this country six hundred
years since. We are not to re-write the wondrous story of The friends of this painting overcome every this short life-to tell again how in the course of difficulty — that chronological one inclusive — by seven years the younger son in a squire's family reminding us that Wallacc visited Paris and Rome, defeated and overthrew the armies and generals of and was known in continental courts. These a great and popular monarch-wrested from him circumstances do not help the matter much; but the possession of a kingdom, fought all the hos- the painter had studied the history of his subject. tile influence of feudal power—out of a nation of He lived nearer the events of that leader's life by serfs raised an independent army, amenable only two or three centuries than those who now write to the royal authority, which he, as Regent, of them. The general state of society in the days wielded-gave to the nation's Parliament a rude of the Bruce and Wallace was more intelligible to but strong life-knew how alike to lead in cabinet | him perhaps than to us. He was a man of genius ; or camp, and how in camp or court to be led and and at least, if he could do no more, be placed on to obey—solved, so far as a solution was practi- canvas the opinion that he had formed of this great cable then, all the problems of the day between leader. The painting denotes a man of calm
rather than stern determination; of strong intelli- | times of columns and pyramids are past. Mangence and resolution-a man whom we would kind have not become less grateful, but they anticipate to cope with difficulties and overcome would evoke good from gratitude, and give to them—to meet troubles and not be vanquished every design a utilitarian colour; and thus they by them--a man of heroic spirit, who would should act--for their resources are not greater not be elated greatly with suceess, but who would than their work. pot quiver at the edge of the axe. From the Are we then to make the memory of Wallace features we should infer the immense physical a peg whereupon to hang some benevolent project strength that he is said to have possessed ; and yet of the nineteenth century ? That is nearly what over them hangs a shade of gentleness, and a we are to persuade others, if possible, to do. Cer. mournful tint, gathered from the day when the tainly we do not deem the endowment of an almslady who was said to have been his wife was mur. house or the establishment of a ragged school, on dered by his foes.
some gigantic scale, appropriate memorials of this This circumstance is forgotten often, that the chieftain. They are benevolent projects, unmartyr to freedom on Smithfield was a very young doubtedly; but we want to pay a debt with the man. Sir William Wallace died in early youth. | monument. The committee have a considerable He had a great work to do. He did it well, even fund in hand, although we think it might have to the end to the scaffold and the torture, been larger ere the present date; and we have no decreed for him by a great king of England, in doubt that ample means could be obtained for a many respects an able and a great monarch, but fitting memorial to this soldier and statesman. so destitute of generosity that having paid a A lady some years since, when the nation was traitor to betray a still abler and a greater soldier in difficulty, left her home, and devoted her time tban himself, he not only ordered his death, but and money to watch over the comfort of the sick his death by torture. The haughty Edward and wonnded in our military hospitals. The act dreamed not then that the death-warrant of was heroic in its nature, and when the necessity Wallace was that also of all his ambition and that caused it had passed away, a proposal was hopes, the insult which made reconciliation im made to perpetuate its occurrence by some means. possible—which fired hearts that were before The lady is rich and required no reward of any almost hopeless - inspired purposes that were kind. That was known well by those who first nearly extinguished-irritated the nobility and the proposed to keep in memory perpetually the sersquirearchy of the land which he wished to make vices she had rendered to the army and the a county or a province--and kindled into fury country. Their object could have been effected that commonalty to whom Wallace had been the in several ways, but they consulted her opinion ; object of profound hero-worship, and who in all and the result has been the certain establishment changing scenes stood by him, always constant of a school for “sick nurses," where females, in and faithful—the unbroken spearmen whom he other respects qualified, may be trained to perform had trained that noble democracy of burghers. duties that hitherto have not been deemed so imand peasants whose vengeance for many sufferings portant as to need any particular teaching. It made Roslin heights but a red, red mire, and for will form a better memorial of the exertions and their leader's death of agony made Bannockburn a self-denial evinced by Miss Nightingale, than any river of blood--who cared for neither faction nor Cleopatra's Needle that art could have devised and king, but followed the Comyn to Roslin, or the labour raised; although no reason exists for ex. Bruce to Stirling, intent on one conclusion, and cluding art from the execution of the monument, that alone-their national independence.
which will consistently and usefully tell liereafter, Edward's courage was often placed beyond cavil the history of the Scutari hospitals. or doubt. He was a brave man—the bravest of The same good feeling and good sense have the brave among the kings of his day. He was a been evinced in recording public esteem for several wise man, for the policy which he proposed was men who have done the public good service; and necessary to the ultimate greatness of the three a cruel want exists in Scotland now, which the kingdoms; but he was not a good man, or a saga- Wallace memorial might supply. cious prince. The wisdom of Henry VII., whose The military service for some years before the valour was not less tried on battle fields, rendered Russian war had been overlooked. The idea of a possible by peace what Edward made impossible universal peace, inaugurated, we were told, in by war; but Edward had none of Henry's wise Hyde-park, during 1851, occupied a broad place determination to gain from kindness what was lost in public feeling. Many persons believed that to power,
mankind had drawn near to the happy era when We revert to the statement that those who nations should learn war no more; and the intewould preserve the memory of a great man should rests of the army and navy, and all questions conconsult his own tastes and wishes. We cannot cerning them, were neglected. The nation conraise the dead and seek from them a kuowledge of tinued to pay large sums of money, certainly, on what, in our circumstances, their views would have the account for its defence. Measures were been; but we can read their history, and form adopted, after it had been discovered rather sud. some intelligent judgment on the subject. The denly that our defensive power was not sufficient,
to form a militia and increase the naval force; but To this present abode then we went, and as we none were then taken to improve the moral and walked up the broad avenue which leads from the physical condition of the army, on which its effi. lodge.gate to the house we met many children of ciency must depend. We know that for several various ages, from three years old or even younger years libraries, savings banks, and schools, had been to thirteen or fourteen, playing healthfully and in operation among a number of regiments ; but happily in the grounds. they did not involve that outlay which is abso. On entering the house, and on inquiring for lutely requisite to remunerate the class of men on the matron, we were shown to a room, which we whom the defence of the country is thrown. imagined to be her private sitting-room; but two
The Russian war disclosed the destitution little creatures were there with her, talking to and of soldier's families, when they were ordered smiling at each other. on foreign service, in a very appalling manner. We visited the school-rooms and dormitories, We need not attempt to describe the circum- and were struck with the neatness, cleanliness, stances which were made known, and met par. and order of the whole, the latter in particular, tially by the Patriotic Fund, and incidentally by where the counterpanes which covered each bed other means. This fund attained its magnitude were of spotless whiteness ; and we mention this in a great measure from the exertions of Major because they are washed by the children themPowys, who acted as the honorary secretary of the selves — in fact, the greater part of the domestic committee. That gentleman passed three years of work of the establishment is done by the children; almost ceaseless and gratuitous labour in the pro- for as the entire object of their calture and edumotion of this fund; and when the final alloca- cation is to make them good and useful members tion of the means in the possession of the central of the community in the station which they will committee was made, a balance of £11,000, under probably occupy, so they are taught to do all the name of " The Powys Endowment Fund," was which will advance that object, and are brought voted "as a lasting memorial of the gratitude en- up as a class very much needed in the present day, tertained by the committee for liis exertions, to an i. e., good and respectable female servants. object on which he had set his heart after his ex- Our present purpose does not require any perience had shown its necessity.
lengthened account of the asylum, and having The Government makes a slight provision-we inspected the still, we turned to the active life of believe, sixpence daily--for the wives of soldiers, the place—the children themselves and found who have been married with the permission of some of them in one room engaged in needle-work their officer, when they are ordered on foreign upon their own future frocks; for, under the service; but no provision has been made for their superintendence of the nurse, they make their children, and none whatever in those cases of own clothes. So there they were stitching away marriage which have occurred without the con at their scarlet frocks—and very neatly were they sent exacted by military regulations.
stitching too--gathering, and sewing in skirts, and Major Powys sought to make provision for one performing all the wonderful intricacies of dress. class left helpless, often under peculiar circum- making, and through it all looking as happy as stances of trial; and in conjunction with the happy could be. We always look for happiness in friends who had acted with him on the central a child's existence; for we hold it to be one necescommittee of the Patriotic Fund, he established a sary concomitant in the career of the young. Trial
, home for the orphan daughters of soldiers ; in and sorrow, and anxiety must come in after life ; which also the motherless female children of but the young may and should be happy. We soldiers might be received. The endowment have seen care on a baby face-or an almost baby which we have noticed, was given to this Institu- face—but it is a sight we would not see again; tion. The annual proceeds from eleven thousand and it is a sight we should never see if every poor pounds cannot supply a large part of the expen- child could have such an abode found her as those diture, and for its support, the house depends enjoy who inhabit the Soldier's Daughter's Home. naturally upon the public.
After we had inspected the sewing department
, The Soldier's Daughter's Home, as the name we returned to the school-room, dining-hall, and betokens, is a refuge for the orphan or bereaved infant school-room. In the latter, a group of daughters of private soldiers. Hearing of its cheerful little faces smiled on us. excellence, we wished to see it, and, having seen very busy about something or other-very much it, we now set forth that excellence, that others engaged in their play, for it was the hour of may read and, like ourselves, wish to see—and, recreation ; and we could not help contrasting like ourselves, go and see—and, having scen, feel their condition with what it would have been had the interest they ought to feel in it; for every one they been left to drink in the contamination of a who is possessed of any right feeling must take an barrack life, and listen to the reckless words of a interest in anything so truly good and useful. barrack square. This institution is located for a time in a fine old Perhaps no female children of any caste or house at Hampstead, used until the building degree are exposed to more temptation thaa (situated in close proximity, which is in progress soldiers' daughters. Brought up in the midst of of erection, shall be completed.
men-reared from the very cradle in a publicity
which alone is almost destructive of female for life, friends who will, as long as she deserves modesty-unable to step from their own doors it, watch over her, and shield her from danger and even without being surrounded with soldiers harm. She has gained a home and a "parentage” mixing with them during every hour of the day, as a substitute for the parents she had lost. insidiously imbibing their thoughts and princi- We will mention one instance, one dreadful ples—for we know how insidiously thoughts and instance, where two children, two poor helpless principles creep into the minds of the young children, deserted by their wretched mother, were what wonder if seeds of vice are then sown which saved from evils we have been describing. During spring up and bring forth bitter fruit in after life? the progress of the late war, a private of the Then the mother, perchance-living under the same Fusilier Guards, was ordered to the Crimea with circumstances-her mind vitiated from the same his regiment. No sooner had be gone than his cause-either cannot or will not breathe those wife, from what cause we do not know, but we words of truth which might, and could, and would hope it was abject want,--we say we hope it, because save the poor child from the snares of the world. we trust nothing else could induce so horrible and The father of a child thus situated dies—perhaps unnatural a crime-determined to get ridof her three the mother also-and the poor child is cast alone children. For this purpose she took them out on the world, nothing in its heart to shield and with her, and making some slight excuse, left them guide it-nothing in its poor uututored mind but on the doorstep of the house where the colonel of the abandon of the barrack square, the beating of the regiment resided. They remained there for the drums, the bugle-calls, the laugh, the jest, and some time expecting her return-expecting in vain. all the accompanying excitement of the day; for After awhile, they became frightened, and then the all these circumstances of their existence do carry elder girl, not knowing what else to do, rang the with them a certain amount of excitement. bell. To the servant who came, she told her tale.
Left thus alone in the wide world, she may, if | This tale produced inquiries which led to the adshe be fortunate, find some good Samaritan to give mission of herself and her sister to the house her food and shelter, perhaps scarcely that, and, if where for the last two years they have resided. that, nothing more; no moral culture—no food The third child being a boy was received elsewhere. for the hungry soul-nothing for that to feed on; The father of these children died on his passage and food for the soul is quite as essential as food home; the worthlesss mother still lives. At the for the starving body, and if, to satisfy its time of their admission, the younger child could cravings, it cannot obtain that which is good, it not have been more than eighteen months old, the will take that which is corrupt and evil. She is elder somewhere about eight or ten. As it is not left then-being simply sed and clothed—to the very likely the mother will ever be a desirable or childish idleness of the gutter, and, when suffi- competent protector for them, the home will, in ciently matured, provided with some occupation as all probability, be their abode, until they can maina means of life-an occupation which must neces- tain themselves. This is a solitary case, one out sarily be of some low kind, her education having of the many we might name did space permit. fitted her for no other. She follows it for a time; A bappy temperament is observable throughout then its toil becomes irksome to her. She has no the institutaon, and perfect sympathy and affection thought to teach her that toil, with God's blessing, appears to exist between the children and matron. will give her a happier life than idleness with One of the little girls a few days since came up alienation from him. As she advances in life, all to her, and, with a coaxing expression on her little human failings become strengthened, and then the face, proffered the assurance that “Mrs. Langdale, curse of her early training works. She either we are all very fond of you; we all love you very lives in a state of wantonness, or, marrying, makes much, Mrs. Langdale ; very much indeed, Mrs. the same reckless wife that too many mothers have Langdale ; and Mrs. Langdale—you said if we were made before her.
good girls, you would give us an apple.” From this moral danger such institutions as the This might certainly be deemed what is comone of which we now write, are as efficient a re- monly called “capboard love ;" but nevertheless it medy as human means can devise for children shows the familiar degree of affection which exists who have no relatives able and willing to care for between those who almost occupy the relative pothem. The child is taken, cared for, trained, taught sitions of parent and children. to look beyond this life for all good-taught to live Two little girls, the daughters of a soldier in in this life for all good-given habits of utility; the 72nd regiment, a native of Glasgow, are now in shown that industry and virtue can support more the institutiou. Their ages are four and six happily, than idleness and vice. A home is provided years respectively. Their father is with his regifor her while she is too young to make one for ment in India ; Their mother is dead. The matron herself
, a situation is sought and obtained for her, said that their father was much depressed at parand should she from any circumstance not resulting ting with his little daughters ; whom he may never from an error of her own, be unfortunate enough meet again; but whom he could not hope to see to lose it, she is again received in the house, until for many years; yet how much more depressed another situation be found. Thus she is provi. must he have been, if the children had not obtained ded with the means of a respectable maintenance I a home, except the workhouse, to which the little
daughters of men who daily place their lives, essential importance, or people say so; for wheu in jeopardy, for national purposes, should not be con. we remember that General Havelock's army, unsigned. The soldier's arm will be nerved in the surpassed as they have ever been for bravery and day of battle, and in drearier days of duty, by the devotion to duty—had not even one of the many knowledge that those whom he left behind him, I missionaries in India with them, to console a are cared for and kindly taught-not by contribu. | dying man, or mingle words of comfort with his tions forced through poor rates, but by those who parting breath, or convey his farewell to distant feel that in training his children to a life of indus- friends we think it wiser to state the truth, that trial usefulness, they also, like him, only discharge the people say they feel a deep interest in the a duty.
character of the army, rather than to judge by The institution commenced by Major Powys acts. can only meet a comparatively few cases, although The army do more to represent, or to misreprethe committee have been enabled to offer educa- sent, the national character in foreign lands, or tion and support for twenty-five female orphans heathen possessions, than any other class of men; from India ; in addition to the large number of and it would be profitable and wise to bestow upon existing residents. Still, it is a beneficial example; | their comfort and training some care corresponding and a similar scheme is required in Scotland, for to their importance in that respect. We know female children. Boys may be educated in the that this can be effected in many ways, but in schools already provided ; but neither the govern.none better than by making provision that their ment nor the public have made any provision for affections shall not be deadened, and their hearts girls.
seared, by the dread that no eye watches, and no An obvious opportunity occurs in Scotland to hand guides, those whom once they must have commence an institution of this character, or one loved; for nearly all men love their children. more extended in its operations. The money col Their gratitude would be elicited, and even their lected for the Wallace memorial would form the self-respect be raised, by the knowledge that when nucleus of a fund which would gradually grow their duty to the nation compelled the abandonsufficient for all national purposes. A better loca- ment of their duty to their children, at least all lity than Stirling could not perhaps be named, and that could be done was cheerfully done to occupy its adoption would leave out all geographical towards the young that place which had become questions from the discussion. The only reason i vacant; and not in the dry detail of a workhouse, for changing the locality could be afforded by any but in the more kindly routine of an established landowner who might offer a suitable site as his home, made their own. And even if it were posdonation.
sible to suppose this object would not be accomIt is not possible to doubt that the hero of anti- plished—that the father would not be a better quity, whose merits were to be recorded on granite, if soldier with the knowledge that his children were his opinion could be obtained, would have preferred in comfort during his absence, and would not the association of his name with active benefits to exercise a good influence over his comrades-still, this and to future generations. Upon that question when the hour comes, as it comes to many, often no doubt could exist. The propriety of connecting after many days and nights in the cells of an hosa military home with his name is obvious. The pital, that a soldier has given all for his country perfect success of the scheme is not in any way that heaven gave to him-health and life-it doubtful. The payments to the Patriotic Fund were well to take from that man any agony that from Scotland approached to £150,000; and it may arise then for the fate of his family-well, might not be difficult to obtain in two or three also, to provide, so far as man can provide, that years two-thirds of the sum to endow the monu- they should grow up in a good instead of a wicked ment of the past for the good of the future. It path. might be difficult, but it would be done; and Therefore, we hope that the members of the would give us some assurance that tlre relatives of Wallace Memorial Committee may so far change men, in whose actions the country is rather apt to their plans as to utilise the feeling in favour of take a commendable pride, would not be left dez- / their object, and combine it, as they may combine titute, and in the case especially of female orphans, it, with a national work that the man whose left destitute in circumstances which bave led | memory they seek to honour-if he had lived in often to worse than the direst destitution to all our times—would, of all men who have lived ruin.
before them, have shown the greatest anxiety to We deem the character of the army a matter of secure.