Beauchamp by G P R James Page 1 of 534
The Attack and the Rescue.
It was in the reign of one of the Georges - it does not matter which, though perhaps the reader may discover in the course of this history.
After all, what does it signify in what king's reign an event happened, for although there may be something in giving to any particular story "a local habitation and a name," yet there is nothing, strange to say, which gives one - I speak from my own experience - a greater perception of the delusiveness of every thing on earth, than the study of, and deep acquaintance with the annals of a many-lined monarchy.
To see how these spoilt children of fortune have fought and struggled, coveted and endeavoured, obtained or have been disappointed, hoped, feared, joyed, and passed away - ay, passed, so that the monumental stone and a few historic lines from friend and foe, as dry as doubtful, are all that remains of them - it gives us a sensation that all on earth is a delusion, that history is but the pages of a dream-book, the truest chronicle, but a record of the unreal pageants that are gone.
However that may be, it was in the reign of one of the Georges - I wont be particular as to the date, for Heaven knows I am likely to be mistaken in the curl of a whig, or the fashion of a sleeve-button, and then what would the antiquaries say?