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The naval and military annals of Great Britain are the most illustrious in the world. In every quarter of the globe has her flag been triumphant--on almost every battle-field of Europe have her armies conquered. In arms, as in arts, she excels all ancient and modern nations, outrivalling the chronicled renown of Greece and Rome.
The most formidable enemy that she ever possessed, was France under the sway of Bonaparte ; but, as in the days of Talbot, when that country, by right of conquest, became a province of her own, her soldiers again and again subdued that proud and restless nation, and at last succeeded in humbling her Imperial Eagle in the dust. In the memorable struggle which ended with the victory of WATERLOO, where WELLINGTON became the conqueror of the greatest military despot that ever existed, overturning for ever his colossal empire, and securing the ascendancy of Great Britain, innumerable acts of valour and enterprize, of emulation and daring, took place, which invest that period with an interest not belonging to any other portion of our nati 1.. 1 history. At sea, the deeds of Nelson, Howe, Duncan, Jervis, Exmouth, and others of her naval heroes, tended to raise the fame and the influence of England far above what they ever were before, even at the brightest period of her annals; while on land, the victories gained by Wolfe, Abercromby, Moore, Cornwallis, Wellington, and her other famous commanders, on the plains of Egypt, on the burning sands of India, on the fertile fields of the Netherlands, and the Peninsula-at Vittoria, Talavera, Vimiera, and Waterloo-equal, if they do not excel, any of those of which any other country in the world can boast. The wars in which England have been engaged are full of deeds of high emprise, of incident and adventure, the
details of which form reading of a very attractive and interesting kind.
The object of the Work now before the public is to furnish narratives and anecdotes of the most striking events which characterize so stirring a portion of our country's annals; comprehending also whatever appears remarkable in the conflicts and deeds in which our army and navy were engaged in former days, besides characteristic sketches of both services, accompanied by neatly-executed woodengravings illustrative of the principal subjects : forming altogether a bold, though unconnected, outline of the naval and military history of Great Britain, from the earliest period to the present time.
Neither exertion nor expense have been spared by the projector in the production of “ Clark's Original Edition,” of which this forms the first volume. The plan and title of the publication are bona fide his own; and its extensive and still increasing circulation is a gratifying assurance to him, that his labours have received the approbation of a discerning public, notwithstanding the attempts which have been made to deprive him of his just reward.
The greatest care and attention will be devoted to the completion of the Work. The contents, as heretofore, will be selected with judgment, and the engravings will be under the management of competent artists.
In conclusion, the proprietor cannot but offer his grateful acknowledgments for the flattering success which has attended this publication, and he confidently anticipates, when it is completed, that his principal object will be satisfactorily accomplished ; namely, to present, in the most cheap and accessible form, a faithful record of the prowess of Britain's naval and military heroes, and to bring within one popular channel those episodes in their lives and actions which afford matter of an entertaining and spirit-stirring description. 3, Edward-street, Hampstead-road,
Dec. 1, 1836.
CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
Maria of Meissen
13 The Broken Heart ; or, the Serjeant's
The Battle of Trafalgar (continued from p. 7.) 21 The Mutiny at Vellore
Henry and Maria; a Tale of the Peninsular The Horrors of War
The Deserted Wife; a Faithful Narrative 59 off Camperdown
ib. Napoleon's Voyage from Elba to France 150
Origin of being sent to Coventry
Magnanimity of Serjeant More, the High-
The Mystery of Captain Wright's Death and
The Battle of Sole Bay
81 Sir William Wallace and the Red Rover
he never showed the slightest aberration in his course, but continued steadily attached to that profession which is so peculiarly adapted to the genius and taste of Britons.
Among the anecdotes which are told of the prince's boyhood, there is one peculiarly expressive of his character and early attachment to the sea. The three brothers, George, Frederick, and William, received a weekly stipend from the hands of their royal mother, which they were at liberty to expend agreeably to their several tastes or inclinations—a mode well calculated to illustrate the tendency of individual genius. At four years of age, Prince William purchased a ship-perhaps the first act of free-will he exercised -and for some time he scrupulously appropriated his weekly allowance to the necessary completion of the embellishment, rigging, and furnishing of his vessel. When the gallant craft was deemed sea-worthy, the prince's maiden experiment in navigation was appointed to take place in a large swimming-bath at Kew Palace, and the Prince of Wales and the Bishop of Osnaburg (afterwards Duke of York), were invited to be present. When the ship was fairly launched on the miniature waters, Prince William, with an enthusiasm natural to his zest for the exhibition, expatiated with childish fondness upon certain parts of the nautical arrangements, and a slight contention, originating in some puerile difference of opinion, gradually arose between the brothers. As the dispute increased, the Prince of Wales haughtily reminded his younger brother, that, however assured he might be of the correctness of his assertions, he should at least utter them with more temperance before his future sovereign. “ Well, George," retorted the young sailor, the blood mounting to his cheeks, “ who knows but I may be king as well as you ; I'm sure I look as like a king as Frederick does a bishop. And if I ever should become a king, I'll have a house full of ships, and no other king shall dare to take them from me!”
Mrs. Chapone, niece to Dr. Thomas, Bishop of Winchester, says, when he was a child, “ His conversation was surprisingly manly and clever for his age; yet, with the young Bullers, he was quite the boy, and said to John Buller, by way of encouraging him to talk, Come, we are both boys,
The evenness of his temper and the humanity of his nature, may be traced from childhood up to the present moment.
At the age of fourteen, William Henry was entered as a midshipman on board the Prince George, a new ship of ninety-eight guns, commanded by Admiral Digby. At this period of history the war with America raged with violence; the times were momentous, and fertile in warlike action. Our royal hero was, therefore, from the beginning, entered into active service, and was brought into immediate collision with the enemies of his country.
In 1780, the Prince George joined Admiral Rodney, when the royal midshipman had the satisfaction to be present at the capture of the Caraccas feet. The Spanish admiral was introduced to the prince ; but, during the conference between the two admirals, he withdrew; and when it was intimated that Don Juan Langara wished to return to his ship, the prince appeared in his uniform, and respectfully informed the admiral that the boat was ready. The Spaniard was surprised to see the son of his Britannic Majesty acting in the capacity of an inferior officer, and emphatically observed to Admiral Digby, “Well does Great Britain merit the empire of the seas, when the humble stations in her navy are filled by princes of the blood.”