« AnteriorContinuar »
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by
HORACE E. SCUDDER,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
STEREOTY PED AND PRINTED BY
H. 0. HOUGHTON AND COMPANY.
I HAVE tried in this volume to record the life of an elder brother, who was a missionary in India of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and died at the beginning of his twenty-eighth year. My thanks are due to the various persons who have assisted me in this work by allowing me to examine and use the letters which they had received from my brother, and by furnishing me with recollections of their intercourse with him. Especially I would acknowledge the service rendered by Mr. Capron and Mr. Washburn, members of the Madura Mission.
It should be stated that the chapter on Cromlechs was compiled from material which had also been used in the preparation of a paper upon the subject, read before the Boston Society of Natural History by my brother, S. H. Scudder, and inserted in the published Proceedings of the Society.
The portrait which precedes the volume is engraved from a photograph by Black, enlarged from an ambrotype taken in India, a few weeks before my brother's death. It was judged to be the most satisfactory picture that could be secured of him as he appeared in India, and I only regret that it was not practicable to insert also one which should recal the face most familiarly to those who remember him as he was at the time of leaving America.
If it had been possible I would gladly have used throughout the book the method adopted in the latter half, of giving the narrative in the missionary's own words, but a slight examination will show the reader how necessary it was that the account of the greater part of his life should be given by another: the record did not exist in his own language, except as it related to the merely incidental side of his life. There can be but little interest and less importance attaching to any mere narrative of adventure, where the life of a student is concerned, and I have followed my own kind of interest, in trying to disclose the mental growth and change in my brother, by the various means which his life afforded. It is not so much to tell what he did, as to show what he was, which I have kept before me as my aim in the biography.
In narrating his missionary experience, however, I have been fortunate in being able to give it entirely in his own words, and I hope that the acquaintance with him formed from the first part of the Life may help the reader to understand and appreciate more fully the character which lies behind the journals and letters. The account of missionary labor, although based on a short eighteen months' experience, will perhaps be found to have a special value through this very limitation, since it is freed from a confusing repetition of similar scenes, while the time is long enough to allow an exhibition of the various sides of missionary life. The freshness of the impressions which the traveller recorded was saved from the danger of error and superficiality by the previous theoretic knowledge which his study had given him, and by the companionship of older residents.
I have not thought to raise a broken shaft over my brother's grave, for I cannot think of him as one having an untimely end, but as one who was permitted to show a rarely completed life within the compass of a few years. It was the rapid, but healthy development of his nature which induced me, with perhaps too partial an interest, to be more particular in my narrative than the reputation of the subject would naturally war
But after all, now that the record is finished, I am oppressed with the thought how inadequate must be any biography to reflect the life of a man. Το those who knew my brother, this book will doubtless bring back his image in many lights ; for those who knew him not, I can only hope that it will make them wish that they had known him.
Boston, July, 1864.