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The Trumpet-Major by Thomas Hardy
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being a tale of the Trumpet-Major, John Loveday, a soldier in the
war with Buonaparte, and Robert, his brother, first mate in the
Merchant Service.

by Thomas Hardy


The present tale is founded more largely on testimony--oral and
written--than any other in this series. The external incidents
which direct its course are mostly an unexaggerated reproduction of
the recollections of old persons well known to the author in
childhood, but now long dead, who were eye-witnesses of those
scenes. If wholly transcribed their recollections would have filled
a volume thrice the length of 'The Trumpet-Major.'

Down to the middle of this century, and later, there were not
wanting, in the neighbourhood of the places more or less clearly
indicated herein, casual relics of the circumstances amid which the
action moves--our preparations for defence against the threatened
invasion of England by Buonaparte. An outhouse door riddled with
bullet-holes, which had been extemporized by a solitary man as a
target for firelock practice when the landing was hourly expected, a
heap of bricks and clods on a beacon-hill, which had formed the
chimney and walls of the hut occupied by the beacon-keeper,
worm-eaten shafts and iron heads of pikes for the use of those who
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