Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Introduction

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

Spencer Lord Wilmington,

Knight of the Bath, and one of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy Council.


'Twas my fortune, my Lord, in my juvenile Years, Musas cum Marte commutare, and truly I have Reason to blush, when I consider the small Advantage I have reap'd from that Change. But lest it should be imputed to my Want of Merit, I have wrote these Memoirs, and leave the World to judge of my Deserts. They are not set forth by any fictitious Stories, nor imbelished with rhetorical Flourishes; plain Truth is certainly most becoming the Character of an old Soldier. Yet let them be never so meritorious, if not protected by some noble Patron, some Persons may think them to be of no Value.

To you therefore, my Lord, I present them; to you, who have so eminently distinguished your self, and whose Wisdom has been so conspicuous to the late Representatives of Great Britain, that each revolving Age will speak in your Praise; and if you vouchsafe to be the Mecoenas of these Memoirs, your Name will give them sufficient Sanction.

An old Soldier I may truly call my self, and my Family allows me the Title of a Gentleman; yet I have seen many Favourites of Fortune, without being able to discern why they should be so happy, and my self so unfortunate; but let not that discourage your Lordship from receiving these my Memoirs into your Patronage; for the Unhappy cannot expect Favour but from those who are endued with generous Souls.

Give me Leave, my Lord, to congratulate this good Fortune, that neither Whig nor Tory (in this complaining Age) have found fault with your Conduct. Your Family has produced Heroes, in defence of injured Kings; and you, when 'twas necessary, have as nobly adher'd to the Cause of Liberty.

My LORD,
Your Lordship's
Most obedient
And most devoted
Humble Servant,
G. CARLETON.



TO THE READER.


The Author of these Memoirs began early to distinguish himself in martial Affairs, otherwise he could not have seen such Variety of Actions both by Sea and Land. After the last Dutch War he went into Flanders, where he not only serv'd under the Command of his Highness the Prince of Orange, whilst he was Generalissimo of the Dutch Forces, but likewise all the time he reign'd King of Great Britain. Most of the considerable Passages and Events, which happened during that time, are contained in the former Part of this Book.

In the Year 1705, the Regiment in which he serv'd as Captain was order'd to embark for the West Indies; and he, having no Inclination to go thither, chang'd with an half-pay Captain; and being recommended to the Earl of Peterborow by the late Lord Cutts, went with him upon that noble Expedition into Spain.

When the Forces under his Lordship's Command were landed near Barcelona, the Siege of that Place was thought by several impracticable, not only for want of experienc'd Engineers, but that the Besieged were as numerous as the Besiegers; yet the Courage of that brave Earl surmounted those Difficulties, and the Siege was resolv'd upon.

Our Author having obtain'd, by his long Service, some Knowledge of the practick Part of an Engineer, and seeing at that critical Time the great Want of such, readily acted as one, which gave him the greater Opportunity of being an Eye-Witness of his Lordship's Actions; and consequently made him capable of setting them forth in these his Memoirs.

It may not be perhaps improper to mention that the Author of these Memoirs was born at Ewelme in Oxfordshire, descended from an ancient and an honourable Family. The Lord Dudley Carleton, who died Secretary of State to King Charles I. was his Great Uncle; and in the same Reign his Father was Envoy at the Court of Madrid, whilst his Uncle, Sir Dudley Carleton, was Embassador to the States of Holland, Men in those Days respected both for their Abilities and Loyalty.


Daniel Defoe

Sorry, no summary available yet.