Page:Life and Adventures of William Buckley.djvu/15

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viii
PREFACE.

for both parties, which, as Buckley can neither read nor write, as I have already said, was a safe and desirable arrangement.

It may be proper to explain my reasons for considering such an arrangement desirable. Reader, do not do me an injustice; remember the comparatively humble may follow in the pathway of the exalted, and yet not presume to greatness.

De Foe, the author of the fictitious history of Robinson Crusoe, after the publication of that very popular narrative, and during the remainder of his life, was assailed by the literary assassins of the time in a most unworthy and cowardly manner. They charged him with having surreptitiously obtained the journal of Alexander Selkirk, the shipwrecked mariner of Juan Fernandez. They said that having done so, and given his celebrated work to the world, he derived great annual profits from it, whilst he left poor Selkirk to pine in abject penury. Now although we certainly do not expect any such liberal share of fame and fortune by the publication of this truthful history, I am most anxious to avoid even the possibility of such a reproach, and hence arises the Trusteeship which Mr. William Robertson has so kindly undertaken.

For a long time a difficulty existed as to the risk of printing a narrative of the kind at so late a period, but at length, Mr. Macdougall, (late of Adelaide,) engaged on convenient terms, to bring the work out; which he has done in a manner creditable to himself, and to the colony.