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“It was customary in old times for all Authors to enter the world of letters on their knees, and with uncovered head, and a bow of charming meekness write themselves some brainless dolt's "most humble and obedient servant." In later days, the same feigned subserviency has shown itself in other forms. One desires that some will kindly pardon the weakness and imbecility of his production; for, although these faults may exist in his book, he wrote under "most adverse circumstances," as the crying of a hopeful child, the quarrels of his poultry, and other disasters of the season.

Another, clothed with the mantle of the sweetest self-complacency, looks out from his Preface, like a sun-dog on the morning sky, and merely shines out the query, "Am I not a Sun?" while he secures a retreat for his self-love, in case any body should suppose he ever indulged such a singular sentiment. {viii} A few others of our literary shades make no pretensions to modesty. They hold out to the world no need of aid in laying the foundations of their fame; and, however adverse the opinions of the times may be to their claims to renownThe Oregon Territory forms the terminus of these Travels; and, as that country is an object of much interest on both sides of the Atlantic, I have thought proper to preface my wanderings there by a brief discussion of the question as to whom it belongs.

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