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.
hours to prepare for his constant attendance upon Lord Anson at six every morning for his approbation, as his lordship overlooked every sheet that was written.  At some of those meetings Mr Robins assisted, as he was consulted in the disposition of the drawings; and I also know that Mr Robins left England (for he was sent to Bergen-op-Zoom,)[2] some months before the publication of that book; and I have frequently seen Mr Walter correct the proof sheets for the printer.  You may perhaps wonder that Mr Walter never took any steps to contradict the assertion; but that wonder will cease when I tell you that for four years before his death (which was in 1785) he laboured under very severe and painful illnesses, and therefore never heard any thing but newspaper squibs, which he looked upon with contempt.  But as it now appears to be published in a work that will be handed down to-posterity, that Mr Walter was not the real author, I think it a duty incumbent upon me to endeavour to clear his memory from any imputation of duplicity.  Nor can it be supposed that any man would write a book for another to share the greatest part of the advantages.  These and many other reasons make me to apply to you, as I should suppose that, as a relation to the deceased, you would be anxious for his fame, as well as,


Your most humble servant,


June 16th, 1789.

[Footnote 2:  “Mr Robins,” says Dr Wilson, “was invited over to assist in the defence of Bergen-op-Zoom, then invested by the French; and he did accordingly set out for that place; but it was entered by the besiegers September 16, 1747, just after his arrival in the Dutch army.”  This corresponds well with Mrs Walter’s statement, and must have its weight in the question.—­E.]

“We shall make no other comment on this letter than to observe, that it is highly worthy of attention.  If it shall give such full satisfaction to our readers as to convince them that Mr Walter was the writer of the voyage in its present form, we shall rejoice in having had an opportunity of doing justice to an injured character.”

Such is all the information the Editor has been able to procure on this subject; and he regrets that it is not adequate to what is desirable for the determining it.  He might seem invidiously disposed were he positively to decide in the claims, the respective evidences of which, though not logically contradictory, are so much opposed to each other; but he thinks he can hazard no unfavourable imputation, if he should merely state his opinion drawn from the consideration of the testimonies, and the comparison of the style of part of the Narrative, with that of the works which appeared in Mr Robins’ name.  He thinks, then, in few words, that the Narrative is really the production of Mr Walter, under whose name it appeared, but that it was materially increased in size, if not in real value, by the contributions of Mr Robins; and that the species of those contributions may be condescended on, which of course goes far to determine their amount.]

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