« PreviousContinue »
been the training-place for almost all parts of the French army in succession, but it has brought into existence new corps of the highest military value. Of these the most distinguished are the Zouaves. For some time the recruiting went on slowly, and difficulties were experienced from the mixture of Europeans and Mabomedans. In 1833 the two battalions of which the force originally consisted were thrown into one. About this time Lamoricière was placed at their head, and in 1835 the two battalions were again reconstituted. They were raised to three in 1841 by Marshal Bugeaud, who now entirely separated the Arab soldiers from the French, and created a new corps of native troops, called Tirailleurs Indigènes, in which Bosquet and other Crimean soldiers saw much active service. Lamoricière was succeeded in the command of the Zouaves by Cavaignac, and Cavaignac after an interval by Canrobert.* In 1852 they were raised to three regiments of three battalions each. About the close of the Russian war the Emperor, with his usual tact, added a regiment of Zouaves to the Imperial Guard ; and the famous Algerian and Crimean costume is now seen by every tourist who moves through the streets of Paris. In their first constitution the Spahis, like the Zouaves, were a mixed corps; but the Spahis now are almost entirely native, as the Zouaves are entirely European. The Chasseurs d'Afrique are the French cavalry who owe their formation to the campaigns of Algeria. To use the expression of Count Castellane, Two elements are united in the cavalry of Africa to insure success—the French element and the Arab element, the Spahi and the Chasseur.'
Even to the conclusion our notices of Algeria are more full of war than we could wish. In most French works on the subject we should be glad to see a more sensitive feeling of the suffering, carnage, and death, through which the conquest has been completed. In some there is a mixture of war and religion which we deeply regret. It is, however, some satisfaction to reflect that Christianity, entangled as it is in this instance both with war and superstition, is reinstated in the country of St. Augustine. Algiers was constituted a bishopric about the time when our English colonial episcopate was so widely extended. The first bishop, Monsignor Dupuch, is said to have been active, laborious, and benevolent, but he seems to have wanted capacity for business; for when he resigned in 1846 he was deeply in debt. Monsignor Parry, who succeeded him, has a high reputation for energy and
* Baraguay d'Hilliers, and many other officers who have been conspicuous in the Russian war, formerly served in Africa in the corps of Zouaves.
ability. ability.* As to religious truth, it is a grievous evil that, in addition to the other corruptions of Romanism, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception will be preached as part of the Christian Gospel by the new African episcopate. As to religious practice, the saying of Abd-el-Kader to the Abbé Suchet is, we fear, equally applicable to the case of our own missionaries, impeded as they are in every part of the world by the lives of inconsistent Englishmen :—Since thy religion is so beautiful, so benevolent, tell me why it is that all the French do not observe it.'
Art. III.-1. A few Words on the important Subject of Church
Building. London. 2. Report of the Incorporated Society for Building, Repairing
Churches, 8c. London, 1856. THE unpretending and sensible little pamphlet on ' Church
Building 'treats a subject which is steadily rising in interest and importance. Every year the sums bestowed on works of piety and benevolence are more considerable, yet in their aggregate they by no means keep pace with the expanding views of philanthropy and the increasing wants of society; and every year we are made to feel more strongly the necessity of husbanding them to the utmost, and employing them so as to gain the confidence and stimulate the future liberality of the public.
Unfortunately while the office of dispensing charity is become thus important and delicate, there seems to prevail among those who undertake it not a little confusion of thought as to the objects to which their aims should be directed, and the duties they are called on to fulfil. The thrift which in the selfish concerns of life is thought a merit, the prudence which before commencing an undertaking sits down to count the cost, the regard for fitness which adapts the design to the purpose which it is intended to serve-all are too frequently discarded when a charitable project is entertained. The taste for architecture, which is one of the characteristics of the present day, is indulged at any sacrifice of sense and prudence. Whatever social want is felt, the first impulse is to build ; whatever moral reformn is proposed, the established panacea for all human ills is brick and mortar. It might be suspected that the worshipful Bricklayers' Company was the chief mover in all charitable collections. It certainly is the first gainer by their proceeds. Let
at random a few of the circulars which accumulate * Saint-Arnaud's remark, when he describes his first meeting with the new bishop (Jan. 4, 1847), is characteristic : “He is a clever man, but he speaks from the head more than fron the heart; I should preach better than he.'
so rapidly in the course of the season on a London library table. The first perhaps sets forth a scheme for some new hospital; it is headed by a woodcut of the proposed elevation, and the architect has done his best to make it attractive. Our forefathers used to say that “gout cannot be cured by an embroidered slipper,' but assuredly the present generation must assume that there is some curative quality inherent in oriels, tracery, gurgoyles, finials, barge-boards, and fantastic ridge-tiles. The charitable projectors seem to anticipate no inquiry as to how many patients' beds must be retrenched in order to secure all this architectural decoration. No one seems to have objected that the complicated roof and the unnecessary quantity of external wall unite the maximum of expense to the minimum of convenience, or that large mullions obstruct the sun, and casements are apt to let in the cold. Nay, it will be well if on further examination we do not discover that the southern front is occupied by entrance halls, staircases, and board-rooms, while the patients are left to languish in the cheerless north. In short, the architect has confined his attention to external effect, and the inducement most prominently held out to subscribers seems to be the glory of adorning one of the suburban thoroughfares with so showy a specimen of modern taste.
The next circular we open foreshadows the fate of this ambitious commencement. It contains an urgent appeal from a committee who have just completed their building according to the tasteful design of their programme. They assert that the greatest attention has been paid to economy; and so far truly, that all they have accomplished is only shabby splendour and flimsy magnificence. But nevertheless the funds, ample as they seemed, have been exhausted. A heavy debt has been incurred, and unless the ' benevolent public' will again open their purse-strings they must be content to witness the shipwreck of the charitable project which they supposed, and had a right to suppose, was secured by their first subscriptions.
The next appeal perhaps calls our attention to some old foundation parish-school which has of late years fallen into lethargy and jobbery. There needs an infusion of fresh vigour into its management. The trustees should be roused to a sense of their duty, or should be changed; a new master should be engaged, the plan of study revised, and the confidence of the neighbourhood restored. The schoolhouse, venerable in its simplicity, is as sound as it has been any time for the last two centuries. But her Majesty's inspector discovers a want of some of the modern machinery of education, and instantly recommends a new building, which must exhaust the means of the parish, and will not remedy one
of the subjects of complaint. It is a case of suspended animation, and instead of applying restoratives the physician has nothing better to prescribe than a handsome coffin.
In one of the midland counties some munificent individuals desired to institute a foundation school for fifty destitute orphans of the lowest class. For this purpose they raised the noble sum of 60001., and they lavished it all on their building. No wonder that we now find a circular exhorting the reluctant public in a tone of expostulation, which though not unnatural is quite unreasonable under the circumstances, to make a further contribution for its endowment.
Not long ago a proposal was widely circulated for educating a limited number (from fifty to eighty) of the orphan sons of the clergy. Not less than 25,0001., at the very least, the prospectus informs us, almost in a tone of menace, will be required for the building alone; and if, nevertheless, unabashed we venture to protest against all such displays of prodigality, we are straightway told that, “if unfortunately for posterity William of Wykeham and Henry VI. had been possessed by our niggardly utilitarian spirit, they never would have raised those magnificent foundations at Eton and Winchester which were the glories of their times, and have been main supports of sound learning ever since. In this, and all such retorts, the different condition and the different needs of society at those remote periods—the very circumstances, in fact, on which our judgment must be founded are studiously kept out of sight; and in one, and that the most important, particular, the parallel wholly fails
. Henry VI. and William of Wykeham bad the means of endowing their foundations yet more magnificently than they adorned them; above all, they were not accountable to the public, and used the right of doing what they pleased with their own. They did not print circulars and beg alphabetically through the Court Guide and the charity lists.
In a suburban county a few years ago, when the educational movement, as it is called, was strongest, a public meeting was called and a very large subscription made for the purpose of building a training school for masters and mistresses. The building committee, anticipating, as we may presume, entire success for the plan, resolved to raise at once an edifice such as could be needed only if the experiment had entirely succeeded and the institution had reached the highest pitch of vigour and efficiency. The next we hear of the training school is from a circular, which informs us that the funds are all exhausted, that no less than 10,0001. has been spent on the building, and that to finish and furnish it a large additional sum will
be required. To supply this deficiency, it calls on the liberality of the county with an unhesitating air of authority. Nor does the tone of this document betray the slightest misgiving that the committee have fallen short of absolute wisdom in their management, or the faintest consciousness of the fact (which is notorious, nevertheless, to every practical man in the district) that the instructors who will resort for their training to a school of so much pretension will require larger salaries than the agricultural parishes of which the county is mainly composed can afford to pay. Again, in a northern diocese, not long ago, a meeting was held to consider what use could be made of a building which, with similar precipitation and want of foresight, had been constructed for a training school at a very great expense, but which now lay as useless and unserviceable for the purpose to wbich it was destined as Robinson Crusoe's long-boat.
But it is in church-building that the present rage for architecture finds its amplest, and we will at once admit, within certain limits, its most legitimate development. So great, however, is the anxiety to obtain certain constructional combinations, that architectural effect rather than the worship of God might be supposed to be the chief object of our exertions. Among the heap of circulars before us we shall probably find more than one from the incumbent of St. Stephen's, Devonport. And here, in a recent Report of the Oxford Architectural Society, * we find a further account of his difficulties and his struggles. His curate explains to the meeting the poverty of the district and its wants. A congregation of no less than 3000 souls, composed chiefly of the families of absent sailors, is unprovided with a place of worship. No help is to be obtained in the neighbourhood. For eight years efforts have been made to raise a churchfor three, the work has been in progress—and for two, the building has remained roofless for want of funds. No art of begging (and to this we can bear witness) has been left untried. Our sympathy is warmly excited; but, as we read on, we find that • the President had been attracted to visit the church by a distant view of the beautiful spire.' So, then, the beautiful spire had been built before there was any reasonable ground for believing that funds could be obtained for the roof! What should we say to a beggar who spent his money on cambric frills, and then, in a tone of reproachful importunity, asked the passers-by if they meant to leave a fellow-creature to starve for the want of a sbirt ?
Here again is another circular of more than usual impor