The Moonstone (Prologue I, page 1 of 1)


 
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THE STORMING OF SERINGAPATAM (1799)

Extracted from a Family Paper

I address these lines--written in India--to my relatives in England.

My object is to explain the motive which has induced me to refuse the
right hand of friendship to my cousin, John Herncastle. The reserve
which I have hitherto maintained in this matter has been misinterpreted
by members of my family whose good opinion I cannot consent to forfeit.
I request them to suspend their decision until they have read my
narrative. And I declare, on my word of honour, that what I am now about
to write is, strictly and literally, the truth.

The private difference between my cousin and me took its rise in a
great public event in which we were both concerned--the storming of
Seringapatam, under General Baird, on the 4th of May, 1799.

In order that the circumstances may be clearly understood, I must
revert for a moment to the period before the assault, and to the stories
current in our camp of the treasure in jewels and gold stored up in the
Palace of Seringapatam.

 
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