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TO

THE HONOURABLE

FREDERICK NORTH,

LATE GOVERNOR OF THE BRITISH SETTLEMENTS IN THE ISLAND OF CEYLON,

THE FOLLOWING WORK IS MOST RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED

AS A MEMORIAL OF ATTACHMENT AND

PERFECT ESTEEM

BY THE AUTHOR,

WHO DISCHARGES A MOST AGRE EABLE DUTY IN THUS TESTIFYING

HOW EMINENTLY MR. NORTH WAS ENDEARED

TO THE

WHOLE ESTABLISHMENT IN CEYLON BY THE JUSTICE, ABILITY,

UNIFORM INTEGRITY,

AND

EXTENSIVE BENEVOLENCE OF HIS GOVERNMENT,

AS WELL AS BY

THAT CONDESCENDING AFFABILITY AND CULTIVATED UNDERSTANDING

WHICH GAVE A PECULIAR LUSTRE TO HIS

PRIVATE VIRTUES.

London, June 1, 1807.

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PREFACE.

The author of the following work resided in Ceylon five years (from 1799 to 1804) as chaplain to the garrison of Columbo, and principal of all the schools in the island, during which time he was the only clergyman of the church of England in any of its settlements.

The manner of insnaring and taming the wild elephants, the mode of diving for the pearl oysters, the stripping of the cinnamon bark, and the process of collecting natural salt, are all described from actual observation and authentic documents. The plates exhibit the costume of the country, the most striking scenes along the coasts of the island, and some expressive features of the inland districts, executed by eminent artists from drawings made on the spot.

Ramisseram, a small island under the dominion of the East-India company, lying out of the usual

b . .

VOL. I.

route of travellers, has never before been particularly described, and is but little known to many persons who are well acquainted with all our other eastern territories.

The narrative of the campaign of the British forces in the Candian territories in 1803 was compiled at Columbo from the information of the principal civil servants of government, and an extensive correspondence with respectable officers in the field. To it is added a medical report concerning the health of the troops in the month of April of the same year by the superintendent of hospitals in Ceylon, whose observations throw a clear light on the nature of the climate and the diseases to which it is subject.

An embassy to Candy in 1800 illustrates the curious ceremonies practised at that court; and extracts from the old history written by captain Robert Knox in 1681 exhibit a faithful picture of that country in its present state.

But after all the advantages which the writer has enjoyed, his work will not appear without errors and imperfections. Any information there

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