two boys are see-sawing on a plank, balanced on its centre, whilst the world around them is "up" with the one it is "down" with the other. The centre, however, is stationary. I was in the centre. I was an actor, and therefore an eye-witness. The events I relate, I did see them pass before me. The persons I speak of, I know them face to face. The words I quote, I did hear them with my own ears. Others may know more or less than I; I mean to tell all that I know, and nothing more.
Two reasons counsel me to undertake the task of publishing this work; but a third reason is at the bottom of it, as the potent lever; and they are--
1st. An honourable ambition urging me to have my name remembered among the illustrious of Rome. I have, on reaching the fortieth year of my age, to publish a work at which I have been plodding the past eighteen years. An ocean of grief would overwhelm me if then I had to vindicate my character: how, under the hospitality of the British flag, I was put in the felon's dock of
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