I Have Never Accepted An Explanation Of A
Native Custom From One Person Alone, Nor Have I Set Down Things As
Being Prevalent Customs From Having Seen A Single Instance.
endeavoured to give you an honest account of the general state and
manner of life in Lower Guinea and some description of the various
types of country there.
In reading this section you must make
allowances for my love of this sort of country, with its great
forests and rivers and its animistic-minded inhabitants, and for my
ability to be more comfortable there than in England. Your superior
culture-instincts may militate against your enjoying West Africa,
but if you go there you will find things as I have said.
PREFACE TO THE ABRIDGED EDITION OF TRAVELS IN WEST AFRICA.
When on my return to England from my second sojourn in West Africa,
I discovered, to my alarm, that I was, by a freak of fate, the sea-
serpent of the season, I published, in order to escape from this
reputation, a very condensed, much abridged version of my
experiences in Lower Guinea; and I thought that I need never explain
about myself or Lower Guinea again. This was one of my errors. I
have been explaining ever since; and, though not reconciled to so
doing, I am more or less resigned to it, because it gives me
pleasure to see that English people can take an interest in that
land they have neglected. Nevertheless, it was a shock to me when
the publishers said more explanation was required.
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