On the 24th of January, 1805, I made my début on the parade as ensign in the first West York, powdered and equipped in full uniform, with an artificial tail of considerable length tied round my neck, a cocked hat square to the front and a sword five inches shorter than the regulation, made in proportion to my height, being only four feet eleven inches, and within one month of attaining my fourteenth year. My diminutive figure soon attracted the attention of the leading company of the regiment, composed of gigantic Yorkshire grenadiers, and excited so much merriment among them, and so encreased my previous confusion, that my eyes became dim and my feet seemed scarcely to touch the ground. However, some kind expressions from the officers who came forward and surrounded me, and their gay appearance soon dispelled my inquietude. A short time proved sufficient to instruct me in the duties required; and the varied amusements caused the early months of my career to glide rapidly on. Our uniform was plain, faced with green, but suddenly altered owing to an officer of expensive habits, who ordered a new coat to be made and covered with a profusion of gold lace, in which he appeared at the mess table, and so captivated his companions by his rich display, that a unanimous burst of admiration broke forth. Although the lieutenant colonel was as much averse from any thing of the sort as it was possible for any one to be, the new pattern was carried by acclamation, and a tacit consent wrung from the commanding officer, intermixed with his hearty execrations. Frequently, after the alteration, he used to wear his old coat at the mess table by way of a treat, when, to his extreme mortification, the very officer who caused the change would throw out hints about officers being unregimentally dressed. Such was the ingenuity of this individual, that on being refused leave of absence, he waited personally on a general, and afterwards declared that he had represented the necessity of his appearance at home in such moving words, that he not only obtained double the time originally asked for, but also drew tears of sympathy from the general's eyes. In the early part of the summer, General Sir John Moore inspected us on our parade ground, and was pleased to pass his high encomiums on the very fine appearance and steadiness of the men while under arms. Indeed the militia at large were equal to the line, in the execution of their evolutions and discipline, and were well adapted for the defence of their native shores, at this epoch threatened with invasion by the French. Had their services been required to repel such an aggression, -- led on by experienced generals, without doubt they would have proved themselves equal to cope with any troops in the world; and those who had an opportunity of judging at that time, will, I am confident, fully coincide with me and join in just admiration at the high state of perfection that national force had been brought to.

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