The island of Tamarin, or Sambouricon, which
lies about four leagues
to the north of Cracatoa, may be easily mistaken for the latter,
having a hill of nearly the same size and form, situated also near its
 Query, Was this intention ever realized?
The work, supposing it to
have been published, was never heard of or seen by the writer.—E.
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE.
As the greatest pain I feel in committing the following sheets to the press, arises from an apprehension that many of my readers will accuse me of egotism, I will not incur that charge in my preface, by detaining them with the reasons which have induced me, at this time, to yield to the desire of my friends. It is equally indifferent to the public to be told how it happened, that nothing should have got the better of my indolence and reluctance to comply with the same requests, for the space of twenty years.
I will employ these few introductory pages merely to shew what pretensions this work may have to the notice of the world, after those publications which have preceded it.
It is well known that the Wager, one of Lord Anson’s squadron, was cast away upon a desolate island in the South-seas. The subject of this book is a relation of the extraordinary difficulties and hardships through which, by the assistance of Divine Providence, a small part of her crew escaped to their native land; and a very small proportion of those made their way, in a new and unheard-of manner, over a large and desert tract of land, between the western mouth of Magellanic Streight and the capital of Chili; a country scarce to be paralleled in any part of the globe, in that it affords neither fruits, grain, nor even roots proper for the sustenance of man; and, what is still more rare, the very sea, which yields a plentiful support to many a barren coast, on this tempestuous and inhospitable shore is found to be almost as barren as the land; and it must be confessed, that to those who cannot interest themselves with seeing human nature labouring, from day to day, to preserve its existence under the continual want of such real necessaries, as food and shelter from the most rigorous climate, the following sheets will afford but little entertainment.