Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Front Matter >> Dedication Page

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Dedication Page

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription DEDICATION. V
spectacles, to study their modus operandi with me, be pleased
to let the glasses be of the fashion which was worn between
the years 1754 and 1783, when the rangers were getting their
education when it was not found easy to persuade them to
exchange the long rifle for the musket, and when the argument
which sought to convince them that the cover of a tree, or any
dodge from a bullet, reflected somewhat upon the valor of a
soldier, would have been laughed at as the wildest folly.
Nay, in those days, the idea of embracing a bayonet with the
naked bosom, only served to inform the ranger of the true
uses of his legs, and to run well, when there was no farther
chance from fight, was supposed to be a very becoming mili-
tary accomplishment. For my part, I shall be very sorry that
the day should ever arrive when the good sense of this doc-
trine shall be subjected to dispute. These, and other heresies
in the practice of war, such as are doubtlessly to be discovered
in these pages, must be excused therefore, my dear colonel, in
deference to the homely education of our rangers, who seem to
have been always singularly regardless of rules, but who were
never wanting to their rations ; and whose art, while it lacked
science, yet enabled them to execute a great many pretty little
operations, by which to turn the sharp edge of a bullet, escape
all direct collision with a plunging bayonet, feed without a
commissariat, and fight with a reasonable chance of being able
to fight again.
But a truce with this trifling, which is with me a sign of
sadness. To our muttons. I commend Mellichampe" to
your favor, and if it find it not, I have taken your name in
vain. For the plan of the story, and all which it may be ne-
cessary to read before beginning it, I refer you to the original