THE EARL OF ALBEMARLE.
My dear Father,
You could scarcely have anticipated, from my profession, the dedication of a book in testimony of my gratitude and affection; but, having had the good fortune to acquire the friendship of Mr. James Brooke, and to be intrusted by him with a narrative of his extraordinary career in that part of the world where the services of the ship I commanded were required, I am not without a hope that the accompanying pages may be found worthy of your approval, and not altogether uninteresting to my country.
I am, my dear father,
Your affectionate son,
Droxford, January, 1846.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The visit of her majestyʼs ship Dido to Borneo, and her services against the pirates, occupy comparatively so small a portion of this volume, that some excuse may be necessary for its leading title.
It was only by undertaking to make the account of them part of the narrative, that I could prevail upon my friend Mr. Brooke to intrust me with his Journal for any public object; and when I looked at his novel and important position as a ruler in Borneo, and was aware how much of European curiosity was attached to it, I felt it impossible not to consent to an arrangement which should enable me to trace the remarkable career through which he had reached that elevation. I hope, therefore, to be considered as having conquered my own disinclination to be the relater of events in which I was concerned, in order to overcome the scruples which he entertained against being the author of the autobiographical sketch, embracing so singular a portion of his life, which I have extracted from the rough notes confided to me.
That his diffidence in this respect was groundless will, I trust, be apparent from these pages, however indifferently I may have executed my unusual task, during a long homeward sea-voyage; and, from the growing interest which has arisen throughout the country for intelligence on the subject of Borneo and the adjacent archipelago, I venture also to indulge the belief that the general information will be deemed no unfit adjunct to the story of personal adventure.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE SECOND EDITION.
The text of this edition has been carefully revised, and has undergone numerous verbal alterations; some portions of it have been transposed, and a few additions have been made to the work. [In the American edition, a few pages of matter, of no interest to American readers, have been omitted from the Appendix.]