Advice to the Officers of the British Army
with the addition of some hints to the drummer and private soldier

Chapter XII
To the Serjeant-Major

You should make all the inferior non-commission officers and soldiers call you, Major; and when absent from the corps, if you are in one where the serjeant-major wears a laced coat and an epaulette, you may pass yourself for the major of the regiment—unless you should be ashamed of the character. This same liberty may perhaps be assumed by the drum-major; but it is your business to prevent that rattler of parchment from taking too much upon him.

As you pass along the front of the regiment, when telling off the divisions from right to left, be sure to lay your rattan pretty smartly upon those you name, right, left or centre file; which will impress it to their memory; as well as upon their shoulders.

In the detail for, duty warn at least one or two men per company more than the number required, least any of the latter should be taken ill, or should come to the parade drunk or ill dressed; and if any of the super-numeraries are your friends, or make it worth your while, you may let their appearance be reckoned for a guard. What happy times were those, when the adjutant and serjeant-major have been known to snack five or six shillings a day, by thus burning the parade!

As you pass along the front of the regiment, when telling off the divisions from right to left, be sure to lay your rattan pretty smartly upon those you name, right, left or centre file; which will impress it to their memory; as well as upon their shoulders.

In camp always give out the orders at some public house, or booth in the rear, at which you may oblige the orderly serjeants to spend their twopence each for the benefit of the landlord: this in the morning will go further towards making them drunk, than twice that sum in the afternoon; and may therefore be at least considered as a piece of economy.

When a deserter is to be escorted by a party of your regiment, see if he does not want a shirt, a pair of shoes or stockings. If he does, you may venture to supply him with them at your own price, and charge them on the back of the route. If they are not the best of the kind, it is not very material; as the corporal of that, or the next party, will make the prisoner sell or pawn them on the road; and the less they fetch, the less the party will have to expend in liquor.

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