Page images
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

PREFACEŞ are not usually read, therefore we will make this as brief as possible; it shall serve the purpose of an index to point out the contents of the volume. We have given the book no startling or sensational title, yet still we trust it will find favour and acceptance with very many readers. We have gathered into one volume a series of narratives, real experiences, personal adventures, which otherwise can only be gleaned from many books. The volume opens with stories of poor prisoners, and their desperate and persevering attempts to escape from the cells and dungeons where a cruel and despotic power had immured them. The sea with its episodes of storm and shipwreck never wearies; the interest is perpetually kept alive : incessantly our sea-girt island sends forth its armies of sailors to see the wonders of the Lord in the great deep, to do valiant battle with its tempests, and to brave its perils of shipwreck and death; and ever and again there floats to our shore the news of some terrible disaster, to shed its gloom over happy homes and hearts. Thus, even while the last pages of this work were passing through the press, the news spread rapidly through the length and breadth of the land, of the foundering of the La Plata and the


burning of the Cospatrick, and the subsequent privations, sufferings, and horrors through which the miserable remnants of their crews passed. We have therefore devoted a space to the narratives of calamitous shipwrecks, of perilous voyages in open boats, and of men left upon desolate islands. Here, too, the reader will find interesting narrations of perils encountered in savage warfare among North American Indians, in which they are not always proved to be as chivalrous as Cooper has drawn them with his able pen; and lastly will be found the exploits of the hunter in the forest and the field, in his warfare with their savage denizens,—the whole forming a piquant and attractive bill of fare. We have to thank those gentlemen-Sir Samuel Baker, Sir George L'Estrange, and others-who have kindly allowed us to use material from their works. In conclusion, we have only this word to add, to boys and all, Read the book, thereby slightly altering the famous and laconic preface by which Dr. Abernethy introduced one of his works to the public -Road my bouk.'

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »