Murphy was a new recruit in the cavalry. He could not ride at all, and by ill luck was given one of the most vicious horses in the troop.
"Remember," said the sergeant, "no one is allowed to dismount without orders."
Murphy was no sooner in the saddle than he was thrown to the ground.
"Murphy!" yelled the sergeant, when he discovered him lying breathless on the ground, "you dismounted!"
"Did you have orders?"
"From headquarters, I suppose?"
"No, sor; from hintquarters."
"How dare you come on parade," exclaimed an Irish sergeant to a recruit, "before a respictible man loike mysilf smothered from head to foot in graise an' poipe clay? Tell me now—answer me when I spake to yez!"
The recruit was about to excuse himself for his condition when the sergeant stopped him.
"Dare yez to answer me when I puts a question to yez?" he cried. "Hould yer lyin' tongue, and open your face at yer peril! Tell me now, what have ye been doin' wid yer uniform an' arms an' bills? Not a word, or I'll clap yez in the guardroom. When I axes yez anything an' yez spakes I'll have yez tried for insolence to yer superior officer, but if yez don't answer when I questions yez, I'll have yez punished for disobedience of orders! So, yez see, I have yez both ways!"
Mistake, error, is the discipline through which we advance.—Channing.
The raw recruit was on sentry duty. He had a piece of pie, which he had brought from the canteen, and proceeded to enjoy it. Just then, the colonel happened along, and scowled at the sentry, who paid no attention to him whatever.
"Do you know who I am?" the officer demanded.
The sentry shook his head. "Mebby, the veterinarian, or the barber, or mebby the colonel himself." The sentry laughed loudly at his own wit. But he wiltered as the officer sternly declared his identity.
"Oh good land!" the recruit cried out in consternation. "Please, hold this pie while I present arms."