Masterman Ready

Masterman Ready

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Masterman Ready

Masterman Ready

Read FREE!

Excerpt

I PROMISED my children to write a book for them. It was a hasty promise, for I never considered whether I was capable of so doing. On my requesting to know what kind of a book they would prefer, they said that they wished me to continue a work called the "Swiss Family Robinson," which had never been completed, and which appeared peculiarly to interest them. I sent for the work and read it: it was originally written in German, translated into French, and from French into English--a very fair evidence of its merits as amusing to children; but I found difficulties which were to me insurmountable, and which decided me not to continue that work, but to write another in the same style; and I mention this more with a view to prevent any accusation of plagiarism, than with any intent to depreciate the work referred to. I have said that it is very amusing; but the fault which I find in it is, that it does not adhere to the probable, or even the possible, which should ever be the case in a book, even if fictitious, when written for children. I pass over the seamanship, or rather the want of it, which occasions impossibilities to be performed on board of the wreck, as that is not a matter of any consequence: as in the comedy, where, when people did not understand Greek, Irish did just as well, so it is with a large portion of seamanship displayed in naval writings. But what compelled me to abandon the task was, that much ignorance, or carelessness, had been displayed in describing the vegetable and animal productions of the island on which the family had been wrecked. The island is supposed to be far to the southward . . .

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