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Adventures in the Philippine Islands   By: (1797-1862)

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First Page:

Adventures in the Philippine Islands.

Translated from the French of

Paul P. de la Gironiere,

Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honour.

Revised and extended by the author, Expressly for this edition.

London: Charles H. Clarke, 13, Paternoster Row.

PREFACE.

On hearing a recital of some adventures which had occurred to me during my long voyages, many of my friends have frequently begged of me to publish a narrative of them, which might perhaps be interesting.

"Nothing can be more easy for you," they said, "as you have always kept a journal since your departure from France."

I hesitated, however, to follow their advice, or to yield to their wishes, when I was one day surprised to see my name in one of the feuilletons in the "Constitutionnel."

M. Alexandre Dumas was publishing, under the title of "The Thousand and One Phantoms," a romance, one of the principal personages of which, in a voyage to the Philippine Islands, must have known me when I was residing at Jala Jala, in the colony that I founded there.

It must be evident that the lively romancist has ranked me in the category of his Thousand and One Phantoms; but, to prove to the public that I am really in existence, I have resolved to take up the pen, under an impression, that facts of the most scrupulous veracity, and which can be attested by some hundreds of persons, might possess some interest, and be read without ennui, by those especially who are desirous of learning the customs of the savage tribes amongst whom I have resided.

CHAPTER I.

A Family Sketch My Youthful Days I Study for the Medical Profession Obtain a Naval Surgeon's Diploma Early Voyages Sail for Manilla in the Cultivateur Adventurous Habits Cholera and Massacre at Manilla and Cavite Captain Drouant's Rescue Personal Dangers and Timely Escapes How Business may make Friends of one's Enemies An Unprincipled Captain Tranquility restored at Manila Pleasures of the Chase The Cultivateur sails without me First Embarrassments.

My father was born at Nantes, and held the rank of captain in the regiment of Auvergne. The Revolution caused him the loss of his commission and his fortune, and left him, as sole remaining resource, a little property called La Planche, belonging to my mother, and situated about two leagues from Nantes, in the parish of Vertoux.

At the commencement of the Empire he wished to enter the service again; but at that period his name was an obstacle, and he failed in every attempt to obtain even the rank of lieutenant. With scarcely the means of existence, he retired to La Planche with his family. There he lived for some years, suffering the grief and the many annoyances caused by the sudden change from opulence to want, and by the impossibility of supplying all the requirements of his numerous family. A short illness terminated his distressed existence, and his mortal remains were deposited in the cemetery of Vertoux. My mother, a pattern of courage and devotedness, remained a widow, with six children, two girls and four boys; she continued to reside in the country, imparting to us the first elements of instruction.

The free life of the fields, and the athletic exercises to which my elder brothers and I accustomed ourselves, tended to make me hardy, and rendered me capable of enduring every kind of fatigue and privation. This country life, with its liberty, and I may well say its happiness, passed too quickly away; and the period soon came when my education compelled me to pursue my daily studies in a school at Nantes. I had four leagues to walk, but I trudged the distance light heartedly, and at night, when I returned home, I ever found awaiting me the kind solicitude of our dear mother, and the attentive cares of two sisters whom I tenderly loved... Continue reading book >>




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