A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 783 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11.
by the circumstances of this undertaking already known to the world; for, whether we consider the force of the squadron sent on this service, or the diversified distresses that each single ship was separately involved in, or the uncommon instances of varying fortune which attended the whole enterprize; each of these articles must, I conceive, from its well-known rude outlines, appear worthy of a completer and more finished delineation:  And, if this be allowed with respect to the narrative part of the work, there can be no doubt about the more useful and instructive parts, which are almost every where interwoven with it; for I can venture to affirm, without fear of being contradicted, on a comparison, that no voyage, hitherto published, furnishes such a number of views of land, soundings, draughts of ports, charts, and other materials, for the improvement of geography and navigation, as are contained in the ensuing volume; which are the more valuable too, as the greatest part of them relate to such islands or coasts as have been hitherto not at all, or erroneously described; and where the want of sufficient and authentic information might occasion future enterprizes to prove abortive, perhaps with the destruction of the ships and men employed therein.

Besides the number and choice of these marine drawings and descriptions, there is another very essential circumstance belonging to them, which much enhances their worth; and that is the great accuracy with which they were executed.  I shall express my opinion of them, in this particular, very imperfectly, when I say that they are not exceeded, and perhaps not equalled, by any thing of this nature that hath, as yet, been communicated to the world:  For they were not copied from the works of others, or composed at home from imperfect accounts given by incurious and unskilful observers, a practice too frequent in these matters; but the greatest part of them were delineated on the spot, with the utmost exactness, by the direction and under the eye of Mr Anson himself; and where, as is the case in three or four of them, they have been done by less skilful hands, or were found in possession of the enemy, and consequently their justness could be less relied on, I have always taken care to apprize the reader of it, and to put him on his guard against giving entire credit to them; although I doubt not but these less authentic draughts, thus cautiously inserted, are to the full as correct as those which are usually published upon these occasions.  For, as actual surveys of roads and harbours, and nice and critical delineations of views of land, take up much time and attention, and require a good degree of skill, both in planning and drawing, those who are defective in industry and ability supply these wants by bold conjectures and fictitious descriptions; and, as they can be no otherwise confuted than by going on the spot, and running the risk of suffering by their misinformation, they have no apprehension of being

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 11 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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