(From the 1911 John Murray edition)
CAPTAIN SAMUEL LEWIS,
PENINSULAR AND ORIENTAL STEAM NAVIGATION COMPANY'S
My Dear Lewis,
After a voyage, during which the captain of the ship has displayed
uncommon courage, seamanship, affability, or other good qualities,
grateful passengers often present him with a token of their esteem,
in the shape of teapots, tankards, trays, &c. of precious metal.
Among authors, however, bullion is a much rarer commodity than
paper, whereof I beg you to accept a little in the shape of this
small volume. It contains a few notes of a voyage which your skill
and kindness rendered doubly pleasant; and of which I don't think
there is any recollection more agreeable than that it was the
occasion of making your friendship.
If the noble Company in whose service you command (and whose fleet
alone makes them a third-rate maritime power in Europe) should
appoint a few admirals in their navy, I hope to hear that your flag
is hoisted on board one of the grandest of their steamers. But, I
trust, even there you will not forget the "Iberia," and the
delightful Mediterranean cruise we had in her in the Autumn of
Most faithfully yours,
My dear Lewis,
W. M. THACKERAY.
LONDON: December 24, 1845.
On the 20th of August, 1844, the writer of this little book went to
dine at the - Club, quite unconscious of the wonderful events which
Fate had in store for him.