Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/13

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ix
preface.

as I hope, to complete the work of its publication, 54 years after its commencement.

With reference to the "Descriptive Vocabulary" which has been added to it, the appropriate Preface thereof speaks fully for itself. It was put into my hands in a very crude state by Governor Hutt, that I should get it published in England. I had been called home on serious family business. There was no direct conveyance; I had to go by Java, had a long voyage in a Dutch ship—the captain alone had a small smattering of English. To relieve the tediousness of such a voyage, I devoted my leisure to the manuscript, added to, enlarged, expanded, and made it what it is. So, though only one of the few parties connected with the former attempts, I might fairly and truly use the familiar expression, "Quorum pars magna fui."

I made all arrangements for the printing, corrected the press, made terms for the binding, advanced and paid all attendant expenses, had the books carefully packed in a well-tinned chest, which I took back to Governor Hutt, and divided them equally with him. This was in accordance with a previous understanding between us, that on my doing so he would pay half the expenses, which he cheerfully did. That work has been long out of print. It concerns a race which is gradually dwindling away, and may soon be entirely extinct—its language corrupted, disused, forgotten, lost. It is well to endeavour to make a small record of it whilst there is a possibility of doing so.