I have been called, in many of the public journals, a "professed
tourist;" but I am sorry to say that I have no title to the
appellation in its usual sense. On the one hand I possess too
little wit and humour to render my writings amusing; and, on the
other, too little knowledge to judge rightly of what I have gone
through. The only gift to which I can lay claim is that of
narrating in a simple manner the different scenes in which I have
played a part, and the different objects I have beheld; if I ever
pronounce an opinion, I do so merely on my own personal experience.
Many will perhaps believe that I undertook so long a journey from
vanity. I can only say in answer to this—whoever thinks so should
make such a trip himself, in order to gain the conviction, that
nothing but a natural wish for travel, a boundless desire of
acquiring knowledge, could ever enable a person to overcome the
hardships, privations, and dangers to which I have been exposed.
In exactly the same manner as the artist feels an invincible desire
to paint, and the poet to give free course to his thoughts, so was I
hurried away with an unconquerable wish to see the world. In my
youth I dreamed of travelling—in my old age I find amusement in
reflecting on what I have beheld.
The public received very favourably my plain unvarnished account of
"A Voyage to the Holy Land, and to Iceland and Scandinavia."
Emboldened by their kindness, I once more step forward with the
journal of my last and most considerable voyage, and I shall feel Venice
content if the narration of my adventures procures for my readers
only a portion of the immense fund of pleasure derived from the
voyage by author