Billy Budd, and Other Tales

Billy Budd, and Other Tales

Billy Budd, and Other Tales

Billy Budd, and Other Tales

Excerpt

(An inside narrative)

DEDICATED TO JACK CHASE ENGLISHMAN

Wherever that great heart may now be Here on Earth or harbored in Paradise Captain of the maintop in the year 1843 in the U.S. Frigate United States

PREFACE

THE year 1797, the year of this narrative, belongs to a period which, as every thinker now feels, involved a crisis for Christendom not exceeded in its undetermined momentousness at the time by any other era whereof there is record. The opening proposition made by the Spirit of that Age involved rectification of the Old World's hereditary wrongs. In France, to some extent, this was bloodily effected. But what then? Straightway the Revolution itself became a wrongdoer, one more oppressive than the kings. Under Napoleon it enthroned upstart kings, and initiated that prolonged agony of continual war whose final throe was Waterloo. During those years not the wisest could have foreseen that the outcome of all would be what to some thinkers apparently it has since turned out to be--a political advance along nearly the whole line for Europeans.

Now, as elsewhere hinted, it was something caught from the Revolutionary Spirit that at Spithead emboldened the . . .

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