Borneo and the Indian Archipelago

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I wish the readers of these pages to understand that it has been withno desire to appear before the public as an author that I havepublished this Narrative of the Proceedings of Her Majesty's shipSamarang during her last Surveying Cruise.During the time that I was in the ship, I made a large collection ofdrawings, representing, I hope faithfully, the costumes of the nativesand the scenery of a country so new to Europeans. They were considered,on my return, as worthy to be presented to the public, as being morevoluminous and more characteristic than drawings made in haste usuallyare.I may here observe, that it has been a great error on the part of theAdmiralty, considering the great expense incurred in fitting outvessels for survey, that a little additional outlay is not made insupplying every vessel with a professional draughtsman, as wasinvariably the case in the first vessels sent out on discovery. Theduties of officers in surveying vessels are much too fatiguing andsevere to allow them the time to make anything but hasty sketches, andthey require that practice with the pencil without which natural talentis of little avail; the consequence is, that the engravings, which haveappeared in too many of the Narratives of Journeys and Expeditions,give not only an imperfect, but even an erroneous, idea of what theywould describe.A hasty pencil sketch, from an unpractised hand, is made over to anartist to reduce to proportion; from him it passes over to the hand ofan engraver, and an interesting plate is produced by their jointlabours. But, in this making up, the character and features of theindividual are lost, or the scenery is composed of foliage notindigenous to the country, but introduced by the artist to make a goodpicture.In describing people and countries hitherto unknown, no descriptiongiven by the pen will equal one correct drawing. How far I may havesucceeded must be decided by those who have, with me, visited the sameplaces and mixed with the people delineated. How I found time tocomplete the drawings is explained by my not doing any duty on board atone time, and at another by my having been discharged into thehospital-ship at Hong Kong.It was my intention to have published these drawings withoutletter-press, but in this I have been overruled. I have therefore beencompelled to have recourse to my own private journal, which certainlywas never intended for publication. As I proceeded, I found that, as Iwas not on board during the whole of the time, it would be better, andmake the work more perfect, if I published the whole of the cruise,which I could easily do by referring to the journals of my messmates.I would gladly mention their names, and publicly acknowledge theirassistance; but, all things considered, I think it as well to withholdthem, and I take this opportunity of thanking them for their kindness.
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