Travels in South-Eastern Asia (In 2 Volumes)

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The only aim of the following pages is utility. Had a place been sought among admired travellers, I should have given more descriptions, incidents, and delineations of private character; and fewer facts, opinions, and reflections; which would at once have saved labour, and rendered me less vulnerable. Honest intentions, diligent inquiries, and fortunate opportunities, will not secure a traveller from errors, even in Europe or America, where in every place we meet persons of veracity, and free to impart information. In the East the case is much worse. The foreigner, dreaded for his power, and abhorred for his religion, excites both civil and religious jealousy. His manners often displease, by the omission of forms of which he may be ignorant, or to which he cannot succumb. He is met with taciturnity, or wilful misrepresentation; and if he escape these, he will generally encounter ignorance. If he be so happy as to find both intelligence and communicativeness, the want of books, maps, charts, and statistics, renders the information of natives merely local, and often conflicting. Added to all, his interpreter may be unskilful., If he depends upon resident foreigners, their arrival may have been recent, or their opportunities small, or their inquiries negligent, or the statements of one may be flatly contradicted by those of another. All these embarrassments have met me by turns, so that frequently, after laborious and continued inquiries, I have been compelled to lay aside the whole mass of notes, in the utter inability of decide whom to believe. I preferred silence, and apparent deficiency, to questionable statements.


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Travels in South-Eastern Asia (In 2 Volumes)
688p., Illustrations.