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for the officers. The private men have four pence a day to subsist on, and five hundred lashes if they desert. Under this punishment they frequently expire. With these encouragements, it is supposed they may be depended upon, whenever a certain person thinks it necessary to butcher his fellow subjects.”
The army at all times appears to have attracted the attention of Junius. No event or internal regulation passes unobserved. Whọ but a military character would notice the distinction between the guards and the marching regi. ments ? But this was an interesting topic with Lord George. He detested the guards, was disgusted with their conduct ever after his trial, and was jealous of their Sovereign's favour. As Lord Orford observes, “the horse-guards was an eye-sore every time he walked that
way.' Junius bestows some pages upon a squabble among their officers, and half confesses that it was in consequence of personal malice to three of them: one of whom, he owned to Mr. Woodfall, he was willing to spare. No. 11, he says“ The only thing that hinders my pushing the subject of
my last letter, is really the fear of ruining that poor devil, Gansel.” October 18, 1771–To Mr. Wilkes.
" You talk of disbanding the army with wonderful ease
and indifference. If a wiser man held such language, I should be apt to suspect his sincerity.”
October 5, 1771_“I too have a claim to the candid interpretation of my country, when I acknowledge an involuntary compulsive assent to one very unpopular opinion. I lament the unhappy necessity, whenever it arises, of providing for the safety of the state, by a temporary
invasion of the personal liberty of the subject. Would to God it were practicable to reconcile these important objects, in every possible situation of public affairs ! I regard the legal liberty of the meanest man in Britain, as much as my own, and would defend it with the same zeal. I know we must stand or fall together. But I never can doubt, that the community has a right to command, as well as to purchase the service of its members. I see that right founded originally upon a necessity, which supersedes all argument. I see it established by usage immemorial, and admitted by more than a tacit assent of the legislature. I conclude there is no remedy, in the nature of things, for the grievance complained of; for if there were, it must long since have been redressed. Though numberless opportunities have presented themselves, highly favourable to public liberty, no successful attempt has ever been made for the relief of the
subject in this article. Yet it has been felt and complained of ever since England had a
Dec. 9, 1772-A motion was made in the House of Commons to raise ten thousand men to send against the Caribbs, upon which Lord George rose and said, “I am astonished to hear an honourable gentleman complain that the planters are not sufficiently protected. Before this expedition they had six battalions ; and will any gentleman pretend to say that six battalions are not enough for them ? I have authority to assert, that the whole number of the Caribbs does not amount to five hundred men, yet we are sending regiment after regiment to sacrifice, hunt down, and destroy those unfortunate people! I never was in that country, but the climate, I am told, is exceedingly bad. I am told, that if our men are exposed one night to the weather, they will perish. One campaign would inevitably destroy our troops, and let me tell you, sir, that as men are so scarce, we should not be so lavish of them. We already find a great difficulty in recruiting; our regiments cannot be completed on account of the various emigrations, and the averseness which prevails against the service throughout the kingdom. I recollect a circumstance that happened to one of our ships of war (the Phæ
nix) on her arrival at St. Vincent's: the captain was civilly invited on shore by the governor; the boat that carried him on shore had seven hands, and out of the seven, six returned on board sick, and died. After that, an officer and nine men went on shore to guard the water casks, and seven of these died. Such, sir, is the climate that we are sending our troops to. The two regiments which the noble Lord says are sent from North America have tents; but those tents cannot preserve the men from excessive heat and damps; and we are destroying our men, without a certainty of being able to recruit them. Men are so scarce from the continual drain of the army, navy, and colonization, that I am assured we shall soon, unless some remedy is adopted, be in a miserable situation. Besides, what encouragement have men to enter into the service ? to live, pardon me, to starve upon sixpence a day! The solo dier's pay since the first institution of an army has never been raised : the officer's has repeatedly, but the soldier's never. No, sir, in the famous Tyrone rebellion in Ireland, when the Spaniards landed in that country, the soldiers had sixpence a day, and now, notwithstanding the great difference in the two periods, and dearness of provisions, they have no more. Indeed, sir, I am astonished how they live ; and
considering our situation, I think we ought to be extremely cautious how we employ our troops ; and I hope, as the noble Lord assures us they can, that the Secretary of State will furnish those cogent reasons, which would render such a slaughter of men and waste of public money necessary in time of peace.”
Here we have the same care extended toward the private soldiers, as is manifested by Junius, and the same argument maintained against the men being unwilling to act on account of the smallness of their pay. Yet, notwithstanding this general feeling toward the private soldiers, we shall find, in the ensuing speech, cogent reasons for not disbanding the army, or placing them on the same footing with other classes of his Majesty's subjects; expediency being urged as a plea for superseding every minor consideration. It also tends to convince us that although the object of Junius might have been to gratify private resentment, yet when his opinions are thoroughly examined, we are convinced that he wrote from principle, and that in politics he was not a republican.
In a Debate in the House of Commons on a bill for limiting the time for soldiers to serve in the army, Lord George Sackville said, “Whether the dangers and inconveniences that may arise from
* His first in the House of Commons.