The Preparation Of This Narrative* Has Taken
Much Longer Time Than, From My Inexperience In Authorship, I Had Anticipated.
* Several attempts having been made to impose upon the public, as mine,
spurious narratives of my travels, I beg
To tender my thanks
to the editors of the `Times' and of the `Athenaeum' for aiding
to expose them, and to the booksellers of London for refusing to SUBSCRIBE
for any copies.
Greater smoothness of diction and a saving of time might have been secured
by the employment of a person accustomed to compilation;
but my journals having been kept for my own private purposes,
no one else could have made use of them, or have entered with intelligence
into the circumstances in which I was placed in Africa,
far from any European companion. Those who have never carried a book
through the press can form no idea of the amount of toil it involves.
The process has increased my respect for authors and authoresses
I can not refrain from referring, with sentiments of admiration and gratitude,
to my friend Thomas Maclear, Esq., the accomplished Astronomer Royal
at the Cape. I shall never cease to remember his instructions and help
with real gratitude. The intercourse I had the privilege to enjoy
at the Observatory enabled me to form an idea of the almost infinite
variety of acquirements necessary to form a true and great astronomer,
and I was led to the conviction that it will be long before the world
becomes overstocked with accomplished members of that profession.
Let them be always honored according to their deserts;
and long may Maclear, Herschel, Airy, and others live to make known
the wonders and glory of creation, and to aid in rendering
the pathway of the world safe to mariners, and the dark places of the earth
open to Christians!
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