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On the 14th of August, 1816, the HON. CHARLES LEONARD IRBY and JAMES MANGLES, Commanders in the Royal Navy, left England, with the intention of making a tour on the Continent. This journey they were led to extend far beyond the original design. Curiosity at first, and an increasing admiration of antiquities as they advanced, carried them at length through several parts of the Levant, which have been little visited by modern travellers, and gave them more than four years of continued employment.
Soon after their return to England, in the end of the year 1820, they were induced to transcribe a selection of the letters which they had addressed during their absence to their families in England, as the most convenient mode of satisfying the inquiries of numerous friends.
A limited Edition, for private circulation only, was in consequence printed this was so well received, and the copies were in such request, that Mr. MURRAY has been solicited, as a small mark of the friendship and esteem of the writers, kindly to accept the copyright, and further to oblige them by giving the book publicity in the more popular form of his Colonial and Home Library.