« PreviousContinue »
CANADA AND THE CRIMEA
SKETCHES OF A SOLDIER'S LIFE
FROM THE JOURNALS AND CORRESPONDENCE OF THE LATE
MAJOR RANKEN, R.E.
EDITED BY HIS BROTHER, W. BAYNE RANKEN
CANNOT allow a Second Edition of this work to
appear, without an expression of my grateful thanks for the many favourable notices which the book has received, and especially for the notices in the Saturday Review,' the Examiner,' the London Review,' and · The Morning Post.' Indeed, with one or, possibly, two exceptions, it has nowhere been mentioned except with kindness.
I disclaim any credit for the manner in which these extracts from journals and letters of my brother have been brought before the public. My sole object was to make the narrative as consecutive and natural as possible.
The materials at my command would have sufficed for a volume twice as large as the present; but I was anxious, if I erred, to err on the right side, by giving too little rather than too much.
My original intention was to insert some of my brother's descriptions of his Canadian experiences, which would have occupied several pages; but these, having been written for the most part when he was quite young, appeared to me, on reflection, of hardly sufficient general interest to be published.
It may be justly thought, that having come to this conclusion I ought to have changed the title of the book; for though “Canada and the Crimea 'may be the more euphonious, America and the Crimea'would have been undoubtedly the more correct.
But in excuse for this error I may urge my belief that the present title would be the more acceptable to his many Canadian friends, as connecting his name with a country in which for several years he was a resident, and which he always regarded with sincere affection and esteem.
I trust I have allowed nothing to appear which can wound the feelings of anyone, and I am sure that I have suppressed much which might have conduced to raise my brother's character in the estimation of some. Throughout I have acted on the principle of making nothing public which my brother, were he living, would have objected to see in print.
It would have been a violation of this principle to have inserted the record of thoughts and feelings obviously meant for no eye but his own. Enough, however, I think, has been given to show his life was that of a brave soldier and a Christian gentleman.
W. BAYNE RANKEN,
UNITED UNIVERSITY CLUB :