AS I STATED IN THE NARRATIVE OF THE VOYAGE OF THE ASTROLABE, I HAD originally intended to publish in the last volume of that work my thoughts on the peoples of the Great Ocean, and the nomenclature that I proposed for classifying its numerous islands. But the publication of the Voyage of the Astrolabe has already been delayed much longer than I expected, and some of the expressions that I will need to use in my narrative call for a preliminary explanation if they are to be fully understood by the reader. This consideration was already strong enough to convince me, but another equally good reason has since arisen. At your last session, you listened with interest to a reading of a paper in which Mr de Rienzi set out his opinions on the same subject.2 I then felt it was my duty to speak out and present you with the results of my own research. You will understand that I do not claim to impose my ideas on anyone. They are the results of ten years of study, research and observations, mostly carried out in the field itself. However, I admit that, as yet, they are only a working hypothesis. Experience, and, above all, the facts collected by the travellers who follow in my footsteps, will tell whether my scheme deserves to prevail over the others.
|Published - 2003