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SIR VINCENT EYRE, K.C.S.I., C.B.
A FRIENDSHIP OF THIRTY YEARS
DURATION, THE VALUE OF WHICH I NEED NOT
HERE ESTIMATE, 18 MY SOLE, BUT SUFFICIENT, REASON
FOR THE EXERCISE OF THE MOST GRACEFUL
PRIVILEGE OF AN AUTHOR, IN DEDICATING TO YOU THESE
PAGES, WHEREIN YOUR NAME OCCUPIES
A CONSPICUOUS PLACE IN CONNECTION WITH THE
MEMORABLE EVENTS WHICH I HAVE
ENDEAVOURED, FAITHFULLY AND IMPARTIALLY,
; G. B. M.
The public has a right to demand why, a third volume of the late Sir John Kaye's history having already appeared, I should entirely ignore that volume, and should take up the story from the close of the second.
I now proceed to explain why I have done so.
The very day on which I returned to England from India, after my retirement from the service, I was asked to continue and complete Kaye's History of the Sepoy War.
Many reasons combined to induce me to accept the offer. I had been in India from the commencement of the mutiny till its force had been broken; I had collected on the spot, and had even thrown into shape, materials for such a work; not only was I acquainted with many of the actors, but I had had for years continuous opportunities of studying in India the points of
controversy which had arisen after the mutiny had been quelled.
On the other hand it is always a disadvantage to continue the work of a writer from whom one may differ in essential points. This was, I felt, especially the case in the instance before me. For, whilst the first and second volumes of Sir John Kaye’s work—not to speak of the political opinions they enounced-had recounted in eloquent language the events of the earlier stages of the mutiny as they had happened, his third volume had, in the opinion alike of the actors and spectators of the drama, failed to render to those of whom it treated that impartial justice which their deeds, good or evil, had deserved.
I had read that volume in India. I do not wish to say a single word in depreciation of its style, of its brilliancy, of its literary merit. But I may simply observe that neither could the officers of the army, many in number, of all branches of the
, service, political and civil, as well as military; nor could I, accept it in many important particulars as history. The letters which appeared in the English newspapers, controverting many of its statements, and reflecting, I have since ascertained, but a fraction of the dissatisfaction and dissent felt regarding it, showed clearly that this