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As it is possible that, in the many severe strictures passed, in the course of this work, upon the Dutch Administration in Java, some of the observations may, for want of a careful restriction in the words employed, appear to extend to the DutchMoreAs it is possible that, in the many severe strictures passed, in the course of this work, upon the Dutch Administration in Java, some of the observations may, for want of a careful restriction in the words employed, appear to extend to the Dutch nation and character generally, I think it proper explicitly to declare, that such observations are intended exclusively to apply to the Colonial Government and its Officers. The orders of the Dutch Government in Holland to the Authorities at Batavia, as far as my information extends, breathe a spirit of liberality and benevolence- and I have reason to believe, that the tyranny and rapacity of its colonial officers, created no less indignation in Holland than in other countries of Europe.For such, and all other inaccuracies, as well as for the defects of style and arrangement which may appear in this work, an apology is necessary- and in the circumstances under which it has been prepared, it is hoped that an admissible one will be found. While in the active discharge of the severe and responsible duties of an extensive government, it was not in my power to devote much time to the subject: the most that I could do, was to encourage the exertions of others, and to collect in a crude state such new or interesting matter as fell under my personal observation. I quitted Java in the month of March in last year: in the twelve months that have since elapsed, illness during the voyage to Europe and subsequently, added to the demands on my time arising out of my late office, and the duties of private friendship after an absence of many years, have made great encroachments- but engaged as I am in public life, and about to proceed to a distant quarter of the globe, I have been induced, by the interest which the subject of these volumes has excited, and the precarious state of my health, rather to rely on the indulgence of the public than on the attainment of leisure, for which I must wait certainly long and, possibly, in vain.Most sincerely and deeply do I regret, that this task did not fall into hands more able to do it justice. There was one, dear to me in private friendship and esteem, who, had he lived, was of all men best calculated to have supplied those deficiencies which will be apparent in the very imperfect work now presented to the Public. From his profound acquaintance with eastern languages and Indian history, from the unceasing activity of his great talents, his other prodigious [Vol I Pg viii]acquirements, his extensive views, and his confident hope of illustrating national migrations from the scenes which he was approaching, much might have been expected- but just as he reached those shores on which he hoped to slake his ardent thirst for knowledge, he fell a victim to excessive exertion, deeply deplored by all, and by none more truly than myself.