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Preface by the Editor.

Unqualified to address the public, as a writer, I should have contented myself with giving the following journal to the world, without the formality of preface, had not the circumstances, which have delayed, and the arts that have been practised to suppress, its publication, made some explanation on this head particularly necessary.

The unmerited aspersions which have been cast on me, for asserting a right to pay this tribute to the memory of a deceased brother, and to possess a bequeathed, analienated, pittance of his little fortune, earned at the hazard, and purchased, as I may say, at the expence, of his life, render it indeed incumbent on me to defend a reputation, as injuriously attacked as such dear-bought property has been unjustifiably invaded.

It Is yet with regret I find myself reduced to this necessity; as the persons, of whom I complain, are men, from whose superior talents and situation in life better things might be expected; however they have, in this instance, been misemployed in striving to baffle a plain, unlettered, man; who, though he thinks it is his duty to be resigned under the dispensations of providence, thinks it also equally his duty to seek every lawful redress from the oppressive acts of vain and rapacious men.

Sydney Parkinson, from whose papers and drawings the journal, now presented to the public, has been faithfully transcribed and delineated, was the younger son of the late Joel Parkinson, brewer, of Edinburgh, one of the people commonly called Quakers, and, as I am told, well known and esteemed by men of all ranks, in that city. His success in life, however, was by no means equal to that probity of mind and purity of manners, for which he was eminently distinguished; a nerosity of disposition inducing him to be improvidently remiss in prosecuting recovery of his just debts: a circumstance, which, aggravated by other sinister accidents, rendered his family, on his decease, dependent on their own talents and industry for their future support. His son Sydney was put to the business of a woollen-draper; but, taking a particular delight in drawing flowers, fruits, and other objects of natural history, he became soon so great a proficient in that stile of painting, as to attract the notice of the most celebrated botanists and connois seurs in that study. In consequence of this, he was, some time after his arrival in London, recommended to Joseph Banks, Esq. whose very numerous collection of elegant and highly-finished drawings of that kind, executed by Sydney Parkinson, is a sufficient testimony both of his talents and application.

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© Derived from the London 1773 edition printed for Stanfield Parkinson, pages v - vi, 2004
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