MY DEAR SIR,
I VENTURE to inscribe this book with your
name: but for you it might not have been written. It
falls short of what I had thought to accomplish in my
plan; nor do I print from any wish of mine to publish
hastily. But the truth is, I have had to stand siege in
"Craigcrook Castle." Surrounded by hostile circumstances, its defence has been a fight for life, foot by foot,
and day by day. Twice, also, has death been amongst
the little garrison, striking his silent blows. We are
compelled to capitulate,—I trust, on no
dishonourable terms; although we may not march out with all the pride and pćan of anticipation's triumph.
I pray you accept of this second effort as my best for
the time being. In other years, God willing, I may win
a touch more certain, and a larger reach, upon a harp
of tenser strings.
I am, my dear Sir,