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PREFACE.

THE apology usually advanced by a young Author for publishing is the urgent solicitation of friends: but I am unwilling to avail myself of this plea, both because I should think it the height of injustice to shift the odium (if there be any) from myself to my friends, and because I have ever observed that this excuse is as unavailing in failure as it is superfluous in success. Yet, I am far from insensible to the rashness of the experiment I am trying, whether the World will find time to read, or indulgence to excuse, a plain Book, neither embellished by fancy, nor illustrated by learning.

In fact, I assume no other merit for the following pages than that of having always written them on the spots which they profess to describe. The only exceptions to this assertion are the four initial chapters, which were subsequently compiled from my Journal, the three first, because the places they treat of are too well known to communicate interest to a daily detail, and the fourth because, for the same reason, I kept no regular Journal during the three years of my residence at Constantinople (where I passed the greater part, and expected to pass the whole, of my time) but contented myself with noting down such oc

currences as seemed to me to illustrate the

character of the government, or the manners of the people.

If the obvious question be asked, why,

when my materials were ready 'prepared, a task which could be performed so easily was delayed so long, my answer is, that I did not write my Journal with any intention to publish it, and that the intention did not arise till long after my return. The motives which prompted it must be indifferent to the Publick.

Being at length decided to publish, I was preparing to arrange my materials in the formal and laboured style in which Travels are usually written. I had loaded my

table with Homer, Strabo, Pausanias, Diodorus Siculus, and other ancient Geographers and Poets, from whom I painfully laboured to extract descriptions to be compared with my own. Friends, to whom I communicated my intentions, and whose judgment it would have been the utmost presumption to dispute, advised me to relinquish this laborious design, and to publish my Journal as nearly as possible in the form in which it was originally written. They flattered me with the hope that the Publick would not expect any depth of learning from one whose time was incessantly occupied by the routine of official occupation, and I adopted their suggestion with the more readiness, as I was conscious that my studies, snatched as they must be from the hours of business, would, in all likelihood, be too hurried to be suc

cessful.

The field, in fact, has been so well reaped that even the gleaner must be possessed of more than common penetration to find any thing new. The accurate descriptions of Sandys, Pococke, Tournefort, Wheeler, Stuart, Gell, Chandler, Denon, Niebuhr, Olivier, and Hamilton, have left subsequent travellers nothing but repetition to offer. I chiefly rested my hopes of exciting interest on the opportunity afforded by the informal style of a Journal, for describing the manners of the countries I had visited; but, even this humble intention has been anticipated by the exact and admirable work of Dr. Holland, who has left all our modern travellers in the Levant far behind, in painting to the life, the manners and customs prevalent in Greece. Had there existed such a living picture of men and manners as they are seen in Syria and Egypt, I could have found no pretence for publication.

Some of my readers, who are not aware of the obstacles which hourly rise to frustrate the projects of a traveller in the Levant, may think it extraordinary that I should have approached, without visiting, so many spots remarkable for their ancient or modern reputation, such as Thermopylæ, Tempe,

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