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In offering to the public this new instalment of the History of the British Army, I feel constrained to accompany it with an apology. Six years ago I expressed my hope that I should tell the whole of my story down to the year 1870 in four volumes; and now the fourth volume proves to have carried the narrative no further than to the year 1803. I know not what plea to advance in my excuse, except the sheer ignorance avowed on a famous occasion by Dr. Johnson. I can only say that, until I had dug deep into the huge mass of military manuscripts at the Record Office, I had no conception either of the tasks that were set by Pitt to the British Army nor of the vast amount of work - thankless, indeed, and unprofitable - which it did, or strove to do, during the first ten years of the war of the French Revolution.<br><br>I am aware that in some quarters this excuse will avail me little. One critic, neither incompetent nor unkindly, has lamented that I have not ignored military operations altogether and confined myself strictly to an account of the Army's growth and administration.