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THE Author of the following pages has attempted to narrate (in the best and shortest way he can) the occurrences of a voyage rendered remarkable by a combination of extraordinary events, and the circumstance of a communication with an interesting people, with whom, for the first time, Europeans have had any intercourse; and he has ventured a few occasional remarks, precisely as they arose in his mind on the spot, and which more mature reflection has not induced him to alter. He is aware that his thoughts, as well as his mode of expressing them, may be liable to comment; but he hopes that those who are mighty in criticism will be merciful in censure, and not visit with asperity that which is humble in pretension.
Written at the mess-table on our passage homewards, it is not likely to possess that polished style (or respectable size) it might have obtained by resorting to
other aids; but, submitted to the review of those critics who witnessed the scenes it describes, it acquired, from that circumstance, a stamp of authenticity perhaps of greater importance to the reader.
The Author's acknowledgments are due to Lieut. Dwarris for four Drawings, very correctly portraying the costume of the Coreans and the people of Lewchew.
For that part of the chart which marks the Alceste's route, (corresponding with the original sent into office by the Commander of the expedition,) he is indebted to Mr. Mayne. The eastern coast of Corea is taken from Broughton. The Lewchewan Isles are laid down from our own observation, and from the chart of the Jesuits, where it is confirmed by Broughton and Pérouse.
DIRECTIONS FOR PLACING THE PLATES.
To fuce Portrait of Sir Murray Maxwell .......... Title-Page Chart of the Yellow and Eastern Seas............ 28 Islanders of Sir James Hall's Group ............ Corean Chief and Attendants .................. Lewchewan Chief and Attendants .............. 76 Garden of the Temple at Lewchew.............. 80 Fort Maxwell ..............................265
HIS MAJESTY'S SHIP ALCESTE,
CHINA, COREA, & LEWCHEW.
CHAPTER I... Voyage from England to the Brazils, the Cape
of Good Hope, Java, and the Gulf of Petche-lee. THE British Government, on the representation of the Court of Directors of the East-India Company, respecting the trade with China, decided, with the view of relieving that branch of its commerce from the increasing vexatious impositions of the local authorities of Canton, on the measure of sending an embassy to the court of Pekin. As on a former occasion of a similar kind, a distinguished nobleman had been selected to fill the situation of Embassador Extraordinary from the King of