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is scarcely necessary to observe, that in preparing for the press this new Edition of the present LETTERS, no use has been made of these French improvements.
These Volumes are now a fifth time offered to the public favour, of which they have already enjoyed a very great portion: and are addressed to the British Army, and to the conductors of our Military Seminaries, as a system of Military Ethics calculated to produce correct feelings upon all the points of conduct on which a soldier can be called to exercise his reason.
During the present spring, the Editor has submitted to the Public three volumes of Essays on the Practice of the Art of War; and he hopes this new work will be found not less worthy of public patronage than the Military Mentor.
April 12, 1809.
MY DEAR SON, VOU are now on the point of entering on a
career, brilliant indeed, but surrounded with difficulties; and as we are separated by so great a distance, I wish by a course of epistolary correspondence, to prepare and fortify your mind beforehand. In your present situation you stand in need of advice; and a father who flatters himself with finding in you the comfort and the support of his declining years, is too deeply interested in your happiness to mislead you;
Receive his instructions then with confidence, and docility, for they will all be dictated by tenderness.
You have made choice of a profession with which the majority of young men consider independance, pleasure, and idleness, as inseparably connected. But do not fall, with them, into so fatal an error. Understand better the course you are about to take: there is none that requires more genius and talents; more strength of mind, as well as of body; that calls for greater self-denial, a stricter government over your passions, closer application, more ready obedience, or a more rigid attention to your general conduct.
This representation will surprise you, if you bave hitherto listened only to those. leadstrong and misguided young officers, who fancy their uniform is alone sufficient to attract respect; that their commission will serve them instead of knowledge, talents, and virtue; and that bravery, is all that is requisite in fulfilling the duties of their profession.
AGREE with these, so far as to think that the profession of a soldier is the most honourable; but remember, that it is so considered, only on account of the talents and the virtues which forin