JAMES GRANT LUMSDEN,
MEMBER OF COUNCIL, ETC. ETC. BOMBAY.
I have ventured, my dear Lumsden, to address you in, and inscribe to you,
these pages. Within your hospitable walls my project of African travel was
matured, in the fond hope of submitting, on return, to your friendly
criticism, the record of adventures in which you took so warm an interest.
Dis aliter visum! Still I would prove that my thoughts are with you, and
thus request you to accept with your wonted _bonhommie_ this feeble token
of a sincere good will.
Averse to writing, as well as to reading, diffuse Prolegomena, the author
finds himself compelled to relate, at some length, the circumstances which
led to the subject of these pages.
In May 1849, the late Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Malcolm, formerly
Superintendent of the Indian Navy, in conjunction with Mr. William John
Hamilton, then President of the Royal Geographical Society of Great
Britain, solicited the permission of the Court of Directors of the
Honorable East India Company to ascertain the productive resources of the
unknown Somali Country in East Africa.  The answer returned, was to the
"If a fit and proper person volunteer to travel in the Somali Country, he
goes as a private traveller, the Government giving no more protection to
him than they would to an individual totally unconnected with the service.
They will allow the officer who obtains permission to go, during his
absence on the expedition to retain all the pay and allowances he may be
enjoying when leave was granted: