Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Homeward Bound or, the Chase   By: (1789-1851)

Book cover

First Page:

Homeward Bound; or, The Chase.

A Tale of the Sea.

By J. Fenimore Cooper.

"Is 't not strange, Canidius. That from Tarentum and Brundusium He could so quickly cut the Ionian Sea, and take in Toryne." SHAKSPEARE.

Complete in One Volume.

New Edition.

NEW YORK: Published by Hurd and Houghton, Cambridge: Riverside Press. 1871

Homeward Bound.

Preface.

In one respect, this book is a parallel to Franklin's well known apologue of the hatter and his sign. It was commenced with a sole view to exhibit the present state of society in the United States, through the agency, in part, of a set of characters with different peculiarities, who had freshly arrived from Europe, and to whom the distinctive features of the country would be apt to present themselves with greater force, than to those who had never lived beyond the influence of the things portrayed. By the original plan, the work was to open at the threshold of the country, or with the arrival of the travellers at Sandy Hook, from which point the tale was to have been carried regularly forward to its conclusion. But a consultation with others has left little more of this plan than the hatter's friends left of his sign. As a vessel was introduced in the first chapter, the cry was for "more ship," until the work has become "all ship;" it actually closing at, or near, the spot where it was originally intended it should commence. Owing to this diversion from the author's design a design that lay at the bottom of all his projects a necessity has been created of running the tale through two separate works, or of making a hurried and insufficient conclusion. The former scheme has, consequently, been adopted.

It is hoped that the interest of the narrative will not be essentially diminished by this arrangement.

There will be, very likely, certain imaginative persons, who will feel disposed to deny that every minute event mentioned in these volumes ever befell one and the same ship, though ready enough to admit that they may very well have occurred to several different ships: a mode of commenting that is much in favour with your small critic. To this objection, we shall make but a single answer. The caviller, if any there should prove to be, is challenged to produce the log book of the Montauk, London packet, and if it should be found to contain a single sentence to controvert any one of our statements or facts, a frank recantation shall be made. Captain Truck is quite as well known in New York as in London or Portsmouth, and to him also we refer with confidence, for a confirmation of all we have said, with the exception, perhaps, of the little occasional touches of character that may allude directly to himself. In relation to the latter, Mr. Leach, and particularly Mr. Saunders, are both invoked as unimpeachable witnesses.

Most of our readers will probably know that all which appears in a New York journal is not necessarily as true as the Gospel. As some slight deviations from the facts accidentally occur, though doubtless at very long intervals, it should not be surprising that they sometimes omit circumstances that are quite as veracious as anything they do actually utter to the world. No argument, therefore, can justly be urged against the incidents of this story, on account of the circumstance of their not being embodied in the regular marine news of the day.

Another serious objection on the part of the American reader to this work is foreseen. The author has endeavoured to interest his readers in occurrences of a date as antiquated as two years can make them, when he is quite aware, that, in order to keep pace with a state of society in which there was no yesterday, it would have been much safer to anticipate things, by laying his scene two years in advance. It is hoped, however, that the public sentiment will not be outraged by this glimpse at antiquity, and this the more so, as the sequel of the tale will bring down events within a year of the present moment... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books