« ElőzőTovább »
SERIES OF LETTERS
RECENTLY WRITTEN BY
COMPRISING A COURSE OF ELEGANT INSTRUCTION,
THE GENTLEMAN AND THE SOLDIER.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
BRIDGE STREET, BLACKFRIARS;
THE Public are here presented with a series of Letters written by a distinguished and accomplished General Officer to his Son. In the present situation of the country, and under the circumstance of the recent establishment of a system of military education, their publication may be neither useless nor unacceptable, by offering a Manual to encourage in the minds of young officers an ardour for noble and valiant achievements.
The Writer has taken pains to illustrate bis positions by the examples of the most celebrated heroes who have graced the page of history; and it affords him pride, that many of these illustrations are derived from the annals of bis countrymen. The Examples will frequently be found to exhibit wonderful proofs of the energy of the human mind, where no motives of adequate interest offered themselves to animate exertion; and it will appear that the simple feeling of dignified honour bas prompted the greatest deeds, in states the most arbitrary and in situations the most depressing. What then may not be expected from the British soldier who is so powerfully excited in support of the prosperity of his own free and happy country?
Tue Writer has directed it to be acknowledged, that the plan and outline of these Letters were originally suggested by an elegant work wbich appeared about twenty years since in the French language, entitled 6 Conseils d'un Militaire à son Fils; par M. le Baron d'A****, Colonel d'Infanterie.” That work, however, was characterised so strongly by the national spirit of the author, that it was necessary, in adapting even any parts of it to the feelings of an English reader, to omit anecdotes which owed their place only to French vanity, and substitute others, no less applicable, and more worthy of sober attention. The two books will in fact be found to differ as much in their contents and spirit as the English character differs from the French.
The work above referred to bears the date of 1784. Its merit was well known in France, where it had attained a very high respect and consideration; and accordingly, since the first edition of the present Letters was committed to the press, it has been found that it has been recently republished at Paris, under a different title, “ Le Guide du Jeune Militaire;” with numerous interpolations, consisting of examples drawn or pretended to be drawn from the effects of the revolutionary frenzy, obviously for the purpose of flattering powerful individuals in the French government. The manner in which the French editor has executed this part of his business indeed is not very skilful; and whole pages which, in the original and respectable work, are devoted to an enumeration of the peculiar virtues and qualities of Turenne, are now converted, by the change of names only, into panegyrics of their revolutionary chiefs. It