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MULTITUDINOUS as are the ills "which flesh and blood is heir to," and multifarious as are the miseries of human life, they become from their frequency, common-place subjects of remark, and merely excite a transient sympathy in the mind. There are, however, incidents in the pilgrimage of some, which force themselves upon our observation with a power which at once arouses our attention, --startles our imagination, --excites our surprise, and calls forth our admiration; such is the history about to be narrated.
To develope to the world the sufferings of our species, is at no time a pleasant task; when a writer has to detail the hardships which a fellow countryman has endured, perils unheard of in modern times, and sufferings almost beyond human endurance, and in a country of professed cannibals, the unpleasantness is augmented.
It would be premature to anticipate all the events which will be detailed in the subsequent pages, further than at present to observe, that being communicated by the lips of truth, they shall be recorded with, fidelity.
The most superficial reader of the following pages will behold the mysterious dealings of the Supreme with his creatures; he will be led to reflect on the perils of those "who go down to the sea in ships,"taught to believe the declaration of the royal prophet, that "the dark places of the earth are full of cruelty."
The severe hardships and great cruelties which the subject of this short history underwent, during his ten years detention in New Zealand, --the change of habits, --harrassing away of life, and other circumstances, which it has been his misfortune to be subject to, has so broken up his constitution as to render him no longer an able seaman, or capable of earning his livelihood by his labour, he therefore by the advice of several persons who have interested themselves in his behalf, has published this his history, trusting that the British Public will hold out the hand of humanity to one of her sons of the Ocean, and assist in alleviating the cares and troubles which he must endure for the remainder of his existence; his difficulties and distresses have been such under which many would have sunk to rise no more, yet cheered on by hope he persevered and found that he had not done so in vain. He would be wanting in gratitude were he to let this opportunity pass without tendering his thanks to those from whom he has received the cheering effects of kind regard, who have spirited him on to the publication of this small work, and contributed to rescue him from indigence and want; suffice it to say, that it has been prepared amid afflictions of no ordinary nature.
We cannot refrain from indulging in the hope that the perusal of this pamphlet will act as a stimulus to Missionary exertion, and that the various societies who have long been engaged in sending persons to preach the gospel to those who "sit in darkness and the shadow of death "we trust that a holy emulation will arise among them, who shall do most to reclaim these savages who have inflicted these unheard of cruelties.
The manners and customs of the barbarians, among whom the sufferer was cast, will be given, nor will the natural history of the soil, &c, be overlooked.