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.
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
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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