Excerpt from History of the Post-Office Packet Service Between the Years 1793-1815: Compiled From Records, Chiefly Official
The very name has grown unfamiliar to our ears. It brings nothing to our minds, recalls no train of recollections, stirs up no dim memories. For the who... le world, with the exception of a few people in Cornwall and on the east coast of England, the Packet Service is dead, like all the men who made it, and fought in it, and laid their lives down for it. It was a fighting service, yet the naval histories scarcely mention it. It was for a century and a half the regular vehicle of travellers; yet among the multitude of books which treat of the journeys of our grandfathers, few indeed take note of the fact that they sometimes crossed the ocean. Its records, containing many a story which other nations would have set with pride in the forefront of their history, have lain neglected for eighty years. Some have perished through the carelessness of three genera tions some were wantonly destroyed as possessing neither use nor interest. Even in Falmouth itself, so long the head-quarters of the Service, the actions which distinguished it are forgotten; and you may search for half a day before finding some old sailor, mending his nets in the stern of a boat, in whose memories those stories linger which have never been collected, and which few indeed of his fellow-towns men have cared to remember.
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