In the paper I had the honour of reading before this society on a previous occasion, I alluded to the early explorers and adventurers, whose efforts were directed towards “Japan,” no doubt incited by the accounts of Marco Polo, and other early voyagers and travellers. Numerous efforts were made by private individuals, as well as by the heads of great nations, to open up fresh routes. I am strongly of opinion that justice is not done to the intelligence and energy of these early explorers, whom it has been but too general a fashion to call buccaneers. Few written accounts have come down to us of the earlier explorers and adventurers. Few men of those times had the literary talent, even if they had the will, to have their adventures put down in writing; but there are other and more cogent reasons why so little has been handed down to us.
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