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(Late King's Dragoon Guards),
INSTITUTIONS OF FRANCE,' ETC. ETC.
To the Right Hon. the Earl of Lytton, 6.C.B.
IN venturing to dedicate to your Lordship these fugitive Records of the Kandahar Campaign, I believe they contain the recorded opinions and conclusions of many of my friends and comrades, who, like myself, have served amongst Asiatics, and studied the question of our Indian North-western Frontier-not, I trust, in a party, but in a purely impartial spirit —and whose views are based upon some experience of the Afghan character and the social features of the race.
At the present moment it would seem as though the chief end and aim of the Administration which rules our policy in 1881 were directed to the iconoclastic measures of undoing, with the hammer and the hatchet, whatever structures the calm and deliberate intellect of the late Cabinet thought fit to carry out. The triumphant response to your Lordship's vindication of your frontier policy, while acting as Her Majesty's representative in the Queen's Asiatic Dominions, given spontaneously in the House of Lords, is, I venture to believe, but a reflex of the sober and honest opinions of all civil and military authorities who value England's honour more than party prejudice.
The bright heritage of your Lordship's name, while recalling noble thoughts clothed in pure and polished phrase, in the pages of one whose intellect and powers were without equal in his day, has suffered no diminution in its halo at your hands; and in letters, diplomacy, and the Senate, your countrymen recognise a worthy successor to one whose pages contain no mean or ignoble sentiment. As a poor tribute to your Lordship’s literary and diplomatic labours, I am asked by the writers of the following letters to offer you these 'Records of Kandahar ;' which city, if now surrendered, we must at no future date, I believe, again fight for!
Your Lordship's most obedient Servant,
Major (Late King's Dragoon Guards).
From the days of Alexander to those of Napoleon Military Fame has been one of the sweetest, if not the most coveted, of human distinctions; and although we read of
The shepherd kings of patriarchal times,
such potentates belong, I fear, but to a fabled age—that Arcadia which is born only of the poet's inspiration. From the commencement of authentic or reliable history, battle and conquest have ploughed the soil where civilisation and progress have subsequently reaped a fair and goodly harvest. From the loftiest monarch to his meanest subject war has ever been one of the fatal penalties imposed on life; for, as long as the present world shall last, there will be, I opine, not wanting those who covet their neighbours' lands, and, consequently, owners who object to the sur