My Friends At Home, Who Were
Interested In My Narratives, Urged Me To Give Them To A Wider
Circle, And My Inclinations Led Me In The Same Direction, With A
Sort Of Longing To Make Others Share Something Of My Own Interest
The letters which follow were written to a near relation, and often
hastily and under great difficulties of circumstance, but even with
these and other disadvantages, they appear to me the best form of
conveying my impressions in their original vividness.
exception of certain omissions and abridgments, they are printed as
they were written, and for such demerits as arise from this mode of
publication, I ask the kind indulgence of my readers.
ISABELLA L. BIRD.
TRAVELS IN THE SANDWICH ISLANDS.
Canon Kingsley, in his charming book on the West Indies, says, "The
undoubted fact is known I find to few educated English people, that
the Coco palm, which produces coir rope, cocoanuts, and a hundred
other useful things, is not the same plant as the cacao bush which
produces chocolate, or anything like it. I am sorry to have to
insist upon this fact, but till Professor Huxley's dream and mine is
fulfilled, and our schools deign to teach, in the intervals of Greek
and Latin, some slight knowledge of this planet, and of those of its
productions which are most commonly in use, even this fact may need
to be re-stated more than once."
There is no room for the supposition that the intelligence of Mr.
Kingsley's "educated English" acquaintance is below the average, and
I should be sorry to form an unworthy estimate of that of my own
circle, though I have several times met with the foregoing
confusion, as well as the following and other equally ill-informed
questions, one or two of which I reluctantly admit that I might have
been guilty of myself before I visited the Pacific:
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