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223. b. 23.
The following pages are very much the same as I jotted them down in a note-book from day to day, and often from hour to hour. I have added but little, while I have omitted much, and have endeavoured, as far as lay in my power, to correct whatever statements I have subsequently found to be erroneous. Still no doubt there are many inaccuracies which I have been unable to correct, or which my inexperience as an author has caused me to overlook ; but I am conscious of having done all in my power to write nothing but what I believe to be true.
I have tried to write of things as they are,' and not as they are not.'
I cannot bring myself to distort facts, and make things pleasant' because I am told that it will please
the public to do so, or that I shall lay myself open to unfavourable criticism if I do not. If I have said anything which may be offensive to any one, all I can now say is, that it is unintentional.
Some time must elapse before a real history of the war can be written. To whoever may undertake the task, all genuine notes made by those who saw the events they mention, cannot fail to be of service. Still the labour of selecting from such a mass of matter will
I think my readers will give me credit for some experience in the subjects I write about, and for not having presumed to offer them accounts or opinions based on the shallow knowledge obtained by a few weeks' trip from England to the Crimea and back again. Neither has my information been derived from commissionaires and travelling servants—as necessarily must be the case with people who write about a country or town, after merely a few days' residence. I have been able to get information from gentlemen who know Turkey well, and whom I can believe.
I have frequently mentioned the general accuracy and graphic descriptions of Mr. Russell's letters. It would be absurd to maintain that all he has written is
correct.; but knowing as I do, from actual experience, the extreme difficulty of obtaining really authentic information, I must say it is wonderful that in so great a mass of writings he should have written so little that can be disproved—especially when he had to depend so much upon others for information, for, in spite of his energy and diligence, it was impossible for him to see everything himself. I know that he has always rigidly adhered to what he believed at the time to be the truth.
Neither can I omit to speak in the highest terms of the Campaign of Sebastopol,' by Lieutenant-Colonel Hamley, Royal Artillery-a book which, in a few pages, gives a true and graphic account of the chief events of the campaign.
London, March, 1856.