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The only part of my book I wish to preface is the last part,--the
foreign sketches,--and it is not much matter about these, since if they
do not contain their own proof, I shall not attempt to supply it here.
I have been told that De Lolme, who wrote a notable book on the English
Constitution, said that after he had been in England a few weeks, he
fully made up his mind to write a book on that country; after he had
lived there a year, he still thought of writing a book, but was not so
certain about it, but that after a residence of ten years he abandoned
his first design altogether. Instead of furnishing an argument against
writing out one's first impressions of a country, I think the
experience of the Frenchman shows the importance of doing it at once.
The sensations of the first day are what we want,--the first flush of
the traveler's thought and feeling, before his perception and
sensibilities become cloyed or blunted, or before he in any way becomes
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