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A Woman's Journey Round the World by Ida Pfeiffer

This Ebook was produced by Les Bowler, St. Ives, Dorset.

A WOMAN'S JOURNEY ROUND THE WORLD, from Vienna to Brazil, Chili, Tahiti, China, Hindostan, Persia, and Asia Minor.

BY IDA PFEIFFER.

An unabridged translation from the German.

PREFACE.

I have been called, in many of the public journals, a "professed tourist;" but I am sorry to say that I have no title to the appellation in its usual sense. On the one hand I possess too little wit and humour to render my writings amusing; and, on the other, too little knowledge to judge rightly of what I have gone through. The only gift to which I can lay claim is that of narrating in a simple manner the different scenes in which I have played a part, and the different objects I have beheld; if I ever pronounce an opinion, I do so merely on my own personal experience.

Many will perhaps believe that I undertook so long a journey from vanity. I can only say in answer to this--whoever thinks so should make such a trip himself, in order to gain the conviction, that nothing but a natural wish for travel, a boundless desire of acquiring knowledge, could ever enable a person to overcome the hardships, privations, and dangers to which I have been exposed.

In exactly the same manner as the artist feels an invincible desire to paint, and the poet to give free course to his thoughts, so was I hurried away with an unconquerable wish to see the world. In my youth I dreamed of travelling--in my old age I find amusement in reflecting on what I have beheld.

The public received very favourably my plain unvarnished account of "A Voyage to the Holy Land, and to Iceland and Scandinavia." Emboldened by their kindness, I once more step forward with the journal of my last and most considerable voyage, and I shall feel content if the narration of my adventures procures for my readers only a portion of the immense fund of pleasure derived from the voyage by

THE AUTHORESS.

Vienna, March 16, 1850.

With the hope that we may forward the views of the authoress, and be the means of exciting the public attention to her position and wants, we append the following statement by Mr. A. Petermann, which appeared in the Athenaeum of the 6th of December, 1851:

"Madame Pfeiffer came to London last April, with the intention of undertaking a fresh journey; her love of travelling appearing not only unabated, but even augmented by the success of her journey round the world. She had planned, as her fourth undertaking, a journey to some of those portions of the globe which she had not yet visited--namely, Australia and the islands of the Asiatic Archipelago; intending to proceed thither by the usual route round the Cape. Her purpose was, however, changed while in London. The recently discovered Lake Ngami, in Southern Africa, and the interesting region to the north, towards the equator--the reflection how successfully she had travelled among savage tribes, where armed men hesitated to penetrate, how well she had borne alike the cold of Iceland and the heat of Babylonia--and lastly, the suggestion that she might be destined to raise the veil from some of the totally unknown portions of the interior of Africa--made her determine on stopping at the Cape, and trying to proceed thence, if possible, northwards into the equatorial regions of the African Continent.


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