THE sole reason that I have to hope for the indulgence of the reader, in laying before him this journal of my voyage round the world, is that I completed my twentieth year only a week before setting sail for Australia, and that, after having travelled over some 50,000 miles, and seen various parts of the globe with a rapidity worth y of the slides of a magic lantern, T face the perils of publicity at twenty-two. My journal was intended merely for my own relations, a consolation promised to those I left behind, and I wrote in it everything that I saw and learnt during my travels ; indeed I may say that I devoted every spare moment to it, to note down each incident of a restless and busy life. Every night, however fatigued, I hastily committed to paper the various events of the day, and every mail carried to my people at home the all too short account of my doings.
Sometimes, when contemplating that vast extent of country which still lay before me, in which I should not see those I loved, or when looking back upon the shores where I knew they must be saddened by my absence, the fact of being able to turn to my journal, and for their sakes enter into each minute detail of my life, whether wild and enthusiastic or calm and serious, was sufficient to invigorate me and give me fresh courage, to fill my heart with lofty aspirations and delight.
But can I hope that these hasty lines, which were sometimes written on the unsteady table of a ship beaten about by the sea, sometimes on my knees after a day's sport, and sometimes in the hut of a savage, can give to those who read them even a faint impression of the great enjoyment, the lively emotions, and the delightful recollections of my travels?
I have left these reminiscences just as I first put them down, whether on the Equator or near the South Pole, though sometimes they may be confused and abrupt, after the manner of a journal ; and I have only cut out what was personal and would merely interest my own family. I wish simply and modestly, but with all the ardour of youth, to relate what struck me most in tie glorious sights, curious facts, adventures, and dangers of long sea voyages and distant countries.
No doubt, although the account of the first three months' journey has been abridged, it may seem monotonous, but if so, I hope to be pardoned, and I shall beg for forgiveness if I become too wildly enthusiastic in my descriptions of the exciting sport on the extensive plains of Australia, or the burning jungles of Java. Then, too, my opinions on the political constitution of the Australian Colonies may be objected to, as well as the intense amusement expressed at the harems of the Javanese Sultans, the King of Siam's Amazons, or the breakfast at Pekin with the Regent of China. For all this I shall hope for pardon.
There is no merit due to me for having in so short a journey been able to do and see so much ; these long and distant wanderings were not undertaken on my own account, but under exceptional circumstances. I was honoured by being the companion of a prince, who from my earliest childhood had called me his friend ; and who now wished to make a voyage round the world, having already seen six years of service and gained his promotion, first as naval cadet, then as lieutenant in the United States navy, where he made great progress by earnest and deep study.
During the space of three months, three young princes of the house of Orleans left Europe, to see if in some distant country they might not turn their talents and energy to account, as at present they were unable to devote them to the service of their country : the Duc d'Alencon became a lieutenant in the Spanish army during the glorious expedition to the Philippine Isles, where he commanded the artillery, and most gallantly made his first essay in arms ; the Prince de Conde went to India and Australia, where death, alas ! cut him off at the commencement of a career which promised to be a great one ; and the Duc de Penthievre, the Prince de Joinville's son, started on a voyage round the world.
I had the pleasure of accompanying the latter. He was received and feted everywhere by kind-hearted people, who did the honours of their country with an unusually profuse hospitality. And as I was able out of this abundant harvest to glean a few ears for myself, I will take this opportunity of expressing the very lively recollection that I retain in my heart of the extreme cordiality with which we were received by all ; amongst them were some whose names a feeling of delicacy prevents my mentioning. I will only say thus much—they are the names of Frenchmen.
I must also offer thanks to our distant friends in the name of one who is no more ! . . . For the pleasant recollections of our long dreamed of journey are mixed with many painful thoughts, and on our return a veil of sorrow fell between us and the happy past, in which we had so fully realised our brightest anticipations. The sad duty of bringing home the coffin of M. Fauvel was reserved for me. He was a lieutenant in the navy, who had never left the Prince for seven years ; an amiable, high principled, accomplished man, whom we loved as a second father. But after having joined in all our pleasures and all our dangers, he fell a victim only twenty days before arriving in Europe to the pestilential fever of a tropical climate. And now that the reader knows us all three, and is aware that it is but a boy who relates this story of a voyage round the world, I must ask his indulgence for the ' Journal of my Travels.'