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And Wisdom sought again his ancient height,
   And Music revelled in her wonted isles,
   And Beauty gave once more divinest smiles
To scenes rejoicing in her early light.

And then uprose proud Venice from her waves,
   Dipped in a golden sheen of sea and sky,
   And visions of old splendours glimmered by,
And regal phantoms, called from grandest graves;

With thoughts of Tasso, and the gondoliers
   Who filled each moonlit vista with his lays;
   The pity and the pride of olden days,
Othello's wrong and Belvidera's tears.

Until there came a tumult, and the cry
   Of rushing peoples, maddened with their fame,
   Led like one living ocean by a name
To touch the purple robe of Victory;

When mightier still swept past the awful shade
   Of world-commanding and imperial Rome,
   Rich in triumphal arch and heaving dome,
Proud soaring pillar, and long colonnade.

Till in her later ruin, sadly grand,
   She raised, from desolation darkly spread,
   The semblance of a hoary, crownless head,
That leant upon a cold, unsceptred hand.

Then, mist-like, faded Athens, Venice, Rome;
   And Fancy, from her dream of power and art
   Hemmed to dearer places, found the heart
Still lingering in the quiet paths of home!


I TRAVEL constantly, up and down a certain
line of railway that has a terminus in London.
It is the railway for a large military depot, and for
other large barracks. To the best of my serious
belief, I have never been on that railway by
daylight, without seeing some handcuffed deserters
in the train.

It is in the nature of things that such an
institution as our English army should have many
bad and troublesome characters in it. But, this
is a reason for, and not against, its being made
as acceptable as possible to well-disposed men of
decent behaviour. Such men are assuredly not
tempted into the ranks, by the beastly inversion
of natural laws, and the compulsion to live in
worse than swinish foulness. Accordingly, when
any such Circumlocutional embellishments of
the soldier's condition have of late been brought
to notice, we civilians, seated in outer darkness
cheerfully meditating on an Income Tax, have
considered the matter as being our business, and
have shown a tendency to declare that we would
rather not have it misregulated, if such declaration
may, without violence to the Church
Catechism, be hinted to those who are put in authority
over us.

Any animated description of a modern battle,
any private soldier's letter published in the
newspapers, any page of the records of the
Victoria Cross, will show that in the ranks of the
army, there exists under all disadvantages as
fine a sense of duty as is to be found in any
station on earth. Who doubts that if we all did
our duty as faithfully as the soldier does his,
this world would be a better place? There may
be greater difficulties in our way than in the
soldier's. Not disputed. But, let us at least do
our duty towards him.

I had got back again to that rich and beautiful
port where I had looked after Mercantile Jack,
and I was walking up a hill there, on a wild March
morning. My conversation with my official friend
Pangloss, by whom I was accidentally accompanied,
took this direction as we took the up-hill
direction, because the object of my uncommercial
journey was to see some discharged soldiers who
had recently come home from India. There
were men of HAVELOCK'S among them; there
were men who had been in many of the great
battles of the great Indian campaign, among
them; and I was curious to note what our
discharged soldiers looked like, when they were
done with.

I was not the less interested (as I mentioned
to my official friend Pangloss) because these men
had claimed to be discharged, when their right
to be discharged was not admitted. They had
behaved with unblemished fidelity and bravery;
but a change of circumstances had arisen, which,
as they considered, put an end to their compact
and entitled them to enter on a new one. Their
demand had been blunderingly resisted by the
authorities in India; but, it is to be presumed
that the men were not far wrong, inasmuch as
the bungle had ended in their being sent home
discharged, in pursuance of orders from home.
(There was an immense waste of money, of

Under these circumstancesthought I, as I
walked up the hill, on which I accidentally
encountered my official friendunder these
circumstances of the men having successfully opposed
themselves to the Pagoda Department of that
great Circumlocution Office, on which the sun
never sets and the light of reason never rises, the
Pagoda Department will have been particularly
careful of the national honour. It will nave shown
these men, in the scrupulous good faith, not to
say the generosity, of its dealing with them, that
great national authorities can have no small
retaliations and revenges. It will have made every
provision for their health on the passage home,
and will have landed them, restored from their
campaigning fatigues by a sea-voyage, pure air,
sound food, and good medicines. And I pleased
myself with dwelling beforehand, on the great
accounts of their personal treatment which
these men would carry into their various towns
and villages, and on the increasing popularity
of the service that would insensibly follow. I
almost began to hope that the hitherto-never-
failing deserters on my railroad, would by-and-by
become a phenomenon.

In this agreeable frame of mind I entered the
workhouse of LiverpoolFor, the cultivation
of laurels in a sandy soil, had brought the
soldiers in question to that abode of Glory.

Before going into their wards to visit them,
I inquired how they had made their triumphant
entry there? They had been brought through
the rain in carts, it seemed, from the landing-place
to the gate, and had then been carried
up-stairs on the backs of paupers. Their