[from D. Robertson, Tour, 1794]
TO J. C. CURWEN, ESQ. M. P.
THOUGH you have been pleased to honour the following pages with your approbation, I shall not, by offering any adulatory incense, abuse the indulgence you have given me on this occasion: Permit me, however, to express the high respect and esteem which the Independence and Philanthropy of your character have inspired.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
THIS delightful Island having been hitherto little visited, either by the man of letters, or the lover of picturesque beauty: an attempt to describe its truly romantic scenery, to delineate the customs and manners of its inhabitants, and from various sources to deduce its history, may not prove unacceptable to the Public. I do not, however, flatter myself with obtaining the approbation of every Reader. Some of the Natives may be offended with the sketch I have given of their general Character: the political Parties, who have for some years agitated the Country, may affect to disregard a Work, that, instead of flattering the prejudices of either, exposes the ambitious and interested views of both: while the Idolaters of Despotism may resent my ardent attachment to principles, which, I hope, will soon be as universal, as they are sacred and immutable.
This Volume I do not presume to say is exempt from errors: my heart however acquits me of any intended misrepresentation. To point out with candour what inadvertencies may occur, will merit my gratitude; for the satisfaction afforded by the corrections of the candid Critic, can only be surpassed by the pleasure resulting from the approbation of the generous: but the animadversions of the illiberal, as they cannot possibly injure my tranquillity of mind, I shall allow to pass silently into oblivion.
LONDON October 14th, 1793.