« 이전계속 »
THE present volume, containing an account of the domestic wars of Scotland in 1689 and 1715, is designed, with the “ History of the Rebellions from 1638 to 1660,” and the “ History of the Rebellion of 1745,” already published in Constable's Miscellany, to afford a complete view of the efforts made by the friends of the Stuart family in this country, to vindicate the cause of monarchical government and hereditary right.
Like its predecessors, it has been written rather with the wish of producing a piece of military narrative, than the hope of presenting any thing worthy of the term history; rather with the view of interesting the national feeling by local and personal details, than that of attracting attention from those who read with higher expectations. I think it necessary to state this in plain terms, and to request particular attention to it, as the titles of the previous volumes, though adopted for conveniency only, have caused many to accuse me of a wish to degrade history, and of having presented the public with something different from what it had reason to expect. In my own justification for the adoption of such a word, I beg to remind the reader, that the meaning now attached to it is the result of fashion, and that, although usually applied to hightoned moral compositions, it may also be conferred, without a violation of its radical sense, upon simple narrative. I should be extremely sorry if I have led any one into the same sort of mistake with that committed, some forty years ago, by the managers of a certain country library, who ordered a copy of Horne Tooke's Diversions of Purley, under the idea that it was an amusing book of games. But, when I refer the reader to former prefaces, and beg his attention to this in particular, I believe he will hold me exculpated from any intention to deceive, as well as from the charge of presumption, if such was ever preferred.
The design entertained from the very commencement of these works, and which has governed their composition throughout, was to
supply my countrymen with as lively a delineation as possible of the mere scenery of certain transactions of past times in which they were interested : The higher objects of history I was preyented from attempting, if I had been willing, by the habits of a life, the greater part of which is occupied by commercial details, while only those hours can be devoted to literature which others in general spend in relaxation. In the performance of a task which was thus necessarily a humble one, I have spared no labour which I thought might conduce to the profit or enjoyment of the reader, often adventuring upon extensive lines of research, with but a very uncertain prospect of finding any matter to my purpose, and always endeavouring to make that a labour of love which, in other circumstances, I might have been contented to treat as a duty. A series of narratives has been thus produced, which, however much they may be wanting in literary graces, or in the higher qualifications of history, have at least the merit of em. bodying a greater show and better arrangement of facts, than any former works upon the same subjects.
With regard to the sources of information chiefly employed in this volume, I may mention that, in the first narrative, considerable use is made of a Memoir of the War of 1689, written by General Mackay, and which is still in manuscript; while in the second, I have been much indebted to a very extensive collection of pamphlets and books regarding the insurrections of 1715 and 1745, which has been formed by Mr Duncan M-Neill, advocate, and which its proprietor threw open to me with a libera. lity I cannot too warmly acknowledge. I have further much pleasure in adverting to the kind zeal with which Mr David Haig, of the Advocates? Library, exerted himself, on this, -as on many other occasions, to introduce me to the stores of that munificent establishment.
To Mr.D. O. Hill, the delineator of the Scenery of Perthshire, I am indebted for the very beautiful drawing of the Vale of the Garry—the battle-ground of Killiecranky, which ornaments the front of the volume.
Hanover STREET, EDINBURGH, ?
May 27. 1829.