By Allan Mallinson
1817 and 1818 haven't been reliable years for Matthew Hervey. His liked spouse Henrietta is lifeless and he's now not within the 6th regiment. Now he's kicking his heels in a corrupt and unruly England a long way faraway from its as soon as wonderful prior. 1819 sees Hervey in Rome along with his sister Elizabeth the place an opportunity assembly with guy of letters Percy Bysshe Shelley leads him to reconsider his destiny. figuring out simply how a lot he misses the buzz of army motion and the camaraderie of his regiment, Hervey hurriedly purchases a brand new fee and is refitted for the uniform of the sixth mild Dragoons. Hervey’s such a lot instant activity is to elevate a brand new troop and to arrange delivery, for his males and horses are to set sail for India with quick effect.What Hervey and his greenhorn infantrymen can't comprehend is that during India they're going to face one in every of their hardest trials. lots of Burmese warboats are being assembled close to the headwaters of the river resulting in Chittagong, and the single option to thwart their strengthen contains an exhausting and dangerous march via jungle territory. What starts as a comparatively easy operation turns into a trip into the center of darkness, as Hervey and his troop locate themselves in the course of sizzling and bloody motion as soon as more.From the Hardcover version.
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Extra info for A Call to Arms volume 4
But his own tastes in that direction had advanced only slowly, so that hitherto he had remained devoted above all to the Milton of his schoolroom. Through Henrietta he had read Coleridge, and with her Keats, but Shelley had not so far engaged him. Elizabeth had not objected to suppering with the Shelleys, however. Elizabeth’s pleasure was her journal, and it had often been her lament that its pages were full of things that no one could have the least interest in but herself. Not that she harboured literary ambitions; rather was she occasionally in despair of being, at no longer five and twenty, without anything more to record than domestic trifles.
I have been knocked down before, but never with so little forewarning. ’ ‘They would have done you no good before the blow, and might have caused you trouble afterwards,’ replied Hervey, stooping to pick up Shelley’s hat. ‘I thank you again, sir. ’ The gendarmi were trying to tell them something, without success until the official from the altercation with the mandolinplayer intervened. ‘Signori, the gendarmi wish you to accompany them to the office of the questura. ’ Shelley dabbed at his lips with a handkerchief and then at his eyes.
You will see what a great poet is our friend Mr Shelley. Do not hurry: he will repay proper study. Join us only if you feel inclined. ’ Hervey bowed in appreciation. He truly felt disinclined to the gaiety of the room next door, and the signora had sensed it. And he did wish to read a little of Shelley’s poetry, for he had a mind that it might tell him something of the man. Their time together that morning, although short, had endeared the poet to him to an uncommon degree. Half an hour passed, perhaps more, during which Hervey was interrupted only by a manservant bringing him champagne.