A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Preface

AN affair which might be deemed worthy of a note of a few lines in any general history has been here expanded to the size of a volume or large pamphlet. The smallness of the scale, and the singularity of the manners and events and many of the characters, considered, it is hoped that, in spite of its outlandish subject, the sketch may find readers. It has been a task of difficulty. Speed was essential, or it might come too late to be of any service to a distracted country. Truth, in the midst of conflicting rumours and in the dearth of printed material, was often hard to ascertain, and since most of those engaged were of my personal acquaintance, it was often more than delicate to express. I must certainly have erred often and much; it is not for want of trouble taken nor of an impartial temper. And if my plain speaking shall cost me any of the friends that I still count, I shall be sorry, but I need not be ashamed.

In one particular the spelling of Samoan words has been altered; and the characteristic nasal N of the language written throughout NG instead of G. Thus I put Pango-Pango, instead of Pago-Pago; the sound being that of soft NG in English, as in SINGER, not as in FINGER.

R. L. S.
Vailima,
Upolu,
Samoa.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/s/stevenson/robert_louis/s848fh/preface.html

Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:30