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pursuance of my plan, I now offer to the Public a continuation of The Tour of Africa ; and I here repeat my former affirmation, that, though the Traveller be imaginary, all he relates is strictly true, as far as the most accredited Authors can be
I replied, “I
After the publication of the First Volume, I was advised by a friend to place my authorities in the margin of the succeeding ones. cannot do so without destroying the illusion I have been endeavouring to create : I wish the Reader to think my Traveller a real personage while the page is under his eye, which he cannot do, if he see real names in the margin.” My friend made no answer ; but, as I have the greatest deference for his opinion, I attempted to follow his advice. I wrote “ Barrow” opposite to one pa
“ Lichtenstein” opposite another, and Campbell”. opposite a third ; and I rang the changes upon Barrow, and Lichtenstein, and Campbell again and again; but I found it extremely troublesome, if not impracticable, and I
The same opinion as that of my friend has since appeared in a very respectable periodical publication *, for which I have a great deference also. But I can assure my friends and critics that, in those countries where there have been different travellers, one paragraph is often extracted from several, and sometimes one sentence from two; and that the authors are so mingled, in order to form a regular whole, that, like the tub of feathers prepared by the fairy, it would be almost impossible for
bird to find his own. I must therefore content myself with a general list of my Authorities, which will be found at the end of the Volume.
I have extracted little from the Travels of Vaillant, though, vanity excepted, he appears to me an author of veracity; and I have wholly omitted his journey to the north of the Orange river from respect to the public opinion.
There is in Vaillant an air of romance that invalidates his testimony relating to facts; a desire to be thought a hero that lessens his real exploits. Had he assumed less, credit would have been given him for more. One moment he is at a distance from civilized society, and glorying in his emancipation from the restraints it imposes ; the next, he is entering, or passing, a farm-house. In the first instance he speaks his feelings on present appearances; in the other he speaks from facts ; a man who has formed a design to impose upon
* Monthly Review.
his readers would probably have steered clear of such palpable contradictions.
With regard to Vaillant's expedition to the north of the Orange river, Slabert, the son of his friend, is said to have asserted that he returned before this journey could possibly have been performed ; and Mrs. Vander Westhuysen is said to have affirmed that he was only ten days absent from her house, and that he passed these ten days in exploring the Kamies mountains. Vaillant is gone to that “undiscovered country” from whence he can send no answer to these charges ; but, on the other side of the question it may be said, that his narrative bears strong internal marks of authenticity. I am not aware thatit contains any event which might not have happened, or describes any object which might not have appeared, in such a journey, unless the puff-paste of the desert be one. The imaginary appearance of fleeting villages, waggons and flocks, is not one; for such a deception of vision was experienced, as has already been related, by the British army in the Desert of Egypt. The Kaminouquas of Vaillant are certainly a tribe of Namaquas or Koranas ; his Kabobiquas are assuredly Caffers, though he did not know that Caffers existed in this part of the country; and, what is yet more remarkable, his favourite Houzuanas are, in every point, Bosjesmans, a people whom he did not know, and whom, from the report of the colonists, he detested. If Vaillant really went this journey, I apprehend it was upon ground since untrodden by any European ; and if any European follow his steps, the desert and the mountains will be found; but the inhabitants of the country will probably have changed their names and their places.
As I have inserted in the present Volume the questions proposed by the Secretary of State to Mr. Matra, and the answers by Mr. Jackson, it may be necessary to say how this document came into my possession.
When I read Adams's Narrative, I entertained strong doubts of its authenticity. I had, before this, read Jackson's Account of Marocco, and had remarked in the author a spirit of enquiry, and a careful examination of facts, together with great opportunities of acquiring information. This
gave me a full reliance on his judgment and veracity ; and fearing to trust my own opinion respecting Adams, I ventured to ask that of Mr. Jackson, though a perfect stranger to every thing relating to this gentleman, except his book. His answer did not remove my doubts, but it led the way to a friendly correspondence between him and myself, in the course of which he transmitted to me the questions and answers respecting Timbuctoo and Houssa.