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TO THE THIRD EDITION.
Since this volume was originally written, several changes have taken place at the different Missionary stations; but as these do not affect the general information contained in it, it has
been thought better only to insert the more
important of them in notes.
April 3d, 1848.
MY DEAR LUCY,
You tell me that though you feel so deep an interest in Missions, and especially in those of Southern India, yet your knowledge of the customs and habits of the natives, and indeed of the whole state of things there, is so vague, that you cannot enter as fully as you would wish into the accounts which are from time to time published; and I shall therefore rejoice, if my present attempt to bring forward a few similar details and every-day occurrences, shall in any degree remove your difficulty, and enable you to form a
more connected and realizing idea of those distant
You must, however, bear in mind, that I only intend to give you sketches,” and you must not therefore expect any regular account of the progress of the Gospel in those lands, nor even of its more important features, as you can find these in the regular publications.
I shall confine myself to those facts in Missionary work which have come under the personal knowledge of the friends from whom I have received my information; and even of these, I shall, as far as is practicable, refrain from repeating what has been already published. Nor shall I touch upon any subjects of general information, unless they also, in some way or other, affect the duties or the feelings of a Missionary.
I will begin by endeavouring to give you some notion, although a very faint one, of the impression made upon a European on the first arriving at these unknown shores. And I will suppose that, after a long and wearying voyage of nearly four months, during which you have seen nothing but sea and sky, except, perhaps, catching sight of the picturesque rock of Martin de Vas, or of the low wooded shore and distant mountains of Ceylon, you are drawing near the place of your destination, and are running up the coast of Coromandel.