« AnteriorContinuar »
NOTICES OF THE MANNERS ÁND CUSTOMS, COMMERCE, MANUFAC-
RELIGION, OF THOSE COUNTRIES AND CITIES.
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1841, by
JOHN S. TAYLOR, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern
District of New York.
S. W. BENEDICT, PRINT.
A brief explanation, both of the circumstances under which this work has been written and published, and of the plan upon which it has been prepared, is due to the reader.
When the author was about to go to Europe, in the year 1835, many of his friends requested him to write something respecting the countries which he might visit during his sojourn in the old world, if the nature of his work there, and the duties which resulted from it, should permit. He could hardly do otherwise than promise compliance with their wishes. At that epoch, neither he nor any of his friends foresaw that his labors in Europe, for the philanthropic and religious objects for which he was sent thither, would call him to any other country than France, and those which are contiguous to it.
In a short time, however, it became obvious that duty required him to visit almost the entire continent. Accordingly he has continued, with two interruptions, occasioned by visits to his native country, to pursue the work to which he was called, and in its prosecution he has visited most of the countries in Europe twice, and some of them three times.
These repeated and protracted visits to the various parts of the great field of his efforts, certainly offered him favorable opportunities for obtaining extensive information respecting the different countries which were comprised in it. But the nature and variety of his duties rendered the writing of a book extremely difficult, if not impossible. Nevertheless, last year, during his second visit to the Scandinavian countries, the attempt was made to write something which might be useful to his friends and countrymen, respecting at least
that portion of the continent. And amidst the sufferingsresulting from a long-continued illness—which he endured, on a journey of several months in Scandinavia and Russia, the following work was mainly written; while his many and pressing duties since he returned to pass a few months in this country, have not left him time to do more than review what he had written on the spot, and supply such portions of the work as he had not been able to write in the course of the journey which it undertakes to describe.
Under these unfavorable circumstances, the work was prepared, and is presented to the public. The author is deeply sensible that it is neither what it ought to be, nor what it would have been,-if he could have spared the necessary time for its proper preparation. But such time he never expects to find, and therefore, if he published the work at all, he must publish it as it is, and throw himself upon a public which he believes to be disposed to judge with kindness every attempt, however humble, to contribute something towards the augmentation of useful knowledge respecting other countries. Thus much for the circumstances under which this book was written and now issues from
A word or two in relation to the plan which has been adopted.
Two courses, widely differing from each other, presented themselves to the author's mind at the outset, in regard to the nature of his proposed work.
The one was to write a book which should contain as much interesting and useful information respecting the countries of which it might treat, as could be conveniently exhibited in such a work, and as little about the personal adventures of the author as would be consistent with giving to it some degree of connection and unity.
The other was to write a book of travels, properly so called, and fill it with accounts of what he saw or heard in the countries under consideration, and of his intercourse with the various classes of persons with whom he came in contact.