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Journal of a Visit to Constantinople and Some of the Greek Islands in the Spring and Summer of 1833

Library of Alexandria
The publication of the pages of a journal in the crude and undigested form in which they were originally composed appears so disrespectful to the public, that it requires some explanation. They were written, currente calamo, among the scenes they describe; more as a record of individual adventure, and to fix the transient impressions of the moment for the after gratification of the author, than with any hope of affording amusement during an idle hour, even to those who might feel an interest in all he saw and noted. The intense curiosity, however, which exists at present to learn even the minutest particulars connected with Greece and Turkey, and the possibility that some of his hurried notices might not be altogether devoid of interest, have induced the author to submit them to the public attention. In so doing, he has preferred giving them in their original state, with all their defects, to moulding them into a connected narrative; his object being not to make a book, but to offer his desultory remarks as they arose; to present the faint outline he sketched upon the spot, rather than attempt to work them into finished pictures. With some hope, therefore, of receiving indulgence from the critics, whose asperity is rarely excited except by the overweening pretensions of confident ignorance and self-sufficiency, he ventures on the ground already trodden by so many distinguished men, whose works, deep in research, beautiful in description, and valuable from their scrupulous fidelity, have left little to glean, and rendered it a rather hazardous task for an humble and unskilful limner to follow in their wake. While thus disclaiming all pretensions to the possession of their enviable talents, still, if the author should succeed in affording his readers a few hours' pleasure from the perusal of his Journal, or enable any one to re-picture scenes he may himself have visited, the principal object of its publication will have been attained. Naples, April, 1835