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The following pages were prepared for the press some months since; but the publication of the work has been delayed till the autumn season, at the request of Mr. Murray.
Late events in China, and the policy adopted by the present Government, have changed our attitude towards the Taiping rebels; but as that of the Imperial power remains the same, both with respect to the Taipings and to other insurrectionists in the interior, any remarks on the state of the rebellion are as applicable now as when they were written.
In offering to the reading public a narrative of the “s Upper Yang-tsze Expedition,” I must in justice remark that the undertaking was a private enterprise of Lieut.-Colonel H. A. Sarel, 17th Lancers, Dr. Alfred Barton, and myself; while the fourth member of the expedition, the Rev. S. Schereschewsky, of the “ American Episcopal Board of Foreign Missions,” afforded his assistance gratuitously. To each of these gentlemen I am indebted in one way or another for information and assistance, which I have acknowledged more particularly in the body of the work. Dr. Barton, however, having undertaken the illustration of the book, is entitled to any credit which may be due on that score; while at the same time he wishes me to state the obligations he is under to Messrs. H. G. Hine and J. W. Whymper, for the manner in which they have executed the drawings on wood.
It will be observed that most of the information concerning the Taiping rebels is from the pen of Mr. R. J. Forrest, than whom I know no one more competent to handle the subject. My best thanks are due for the valuable matter which he so kindly placed at my disposal, to which at the present juncture I would particularly direct the attention of the reader.
The names of Sir William Hooker, Professor Morris, Professor Ramsay, Mr. John Riddle, and others, are sufficient guarantees for the accuracy of such portions as rest on their authority, and I am glad to express my thanks for their readily afforded aid.
The Maps attached to this volume are by Mr. John Arrowsmith, and may therefore be considered as accurate as our present knowledge of the country will allow. That of the Yang-tsze Kiang above Hankow is a reduction, in which many details are omitted, of a Chart * prepared from our survey, which it is hoped will be found of service to those interested in the geography or navigation of the Upper Yang-tsze.
Lastly, I have to acknowledge the valuable assistance of my friend Mr. F. Lawrence in passing these pages through
Rather than encumber the narrative with matter of a
* The Yang-tsze Kiang, from Hankow to Ping-shan, from the Survey of Captain Blakiston, R.A., in 1861, by John Arrowsmith. London : published by John Arrowsmith, 35, Hereford Square, South Kensington.