Extract from Summer Excursions in Kent 1847


“To the right of the Dockyard gateway, standing on a rising ground, is Melville Hospital, a receptacle, in time of sickness, for the marines stationed at Chatham and for such of the artisans employed in the Dockyard who may be sufferers by accidents. Beyond is the town of Brompton, abounding with houses licensed for the sale of strong drinks that rejoice in painted signs appropriate to such a martial locality.

There is one, the Fortune of War, exhibited in the person of a jolly soldier just returned from a campaign, who holds in his right hand a bag, evidently filled with gold, for the colour of the metal seems as if it had oozed through the pores of the canvas, a touch of imagination for which we give the artist full credit.There was one drawback, though, to the satisfaction we felt as we contemplated the immense wealth of the fortunate soldier when we discovered that although he had gained gold in the service of his country, he was unluckily minus a leg.

Exhibited in a parlour window close by, we noticed a number of pamphlets detailing the horrors of war, and proving logically that there could be no war if men refused to enlist, as in that case there would be no one to fight on either side, and ambitious potentates would be compelled to settle their differences between themselves by single combat. When this happy state of things is likely to be brought about, the Universal Peace Society, from whom these tracts emanate, offers no opinion. This respected body, although such strong advocates of peace, show themselves to be by no means deficient in courage in thus taking up their quarters in the very heart of this nursery for heroes”.


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