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The narrative portions of this work have been compiled from letters written home to a friend at monthly intervals. This will account for the familiar and sometimes egotistical tone which I fear that I have not entirely subdued.

Certain grave facts which I plucked in Africa I allowed to ripen in my brain, like fruit laid out in the sun. After mature study and reflection, I have ventured to prepare them into theories, and to offer them to the scientific reader.

I make, of course, no pretensions to the title of Explorer. If I have any merit, it is that of having been the first young man about town to make a bona fide tour in Western Africa; to travel in that agreeable and salubrious country with no special object, and at his own expense; to flaner in the virgin forest; to flirt with pretty savages, and to smoke his cigar among cannibals.

Conservative Club, November, 1863.

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