(From the 1919 J. W. Arrowsmith edition.)
Said a friend of mine to me some months ago: "Well now, why don't you
write a SENSIBLE book? I should like to see you make people think."
"Do you believe it can be done, then?" I asked.
"Well, try," he replied.
Accordingly, I have tried. This is a sensible book. I want you to
understand that. This is a book to improve your mind. In this book
I tell you all about Germany - at all events, all I know about
Germany - and the Ober-Ammergau Passion Play. I also tell you about
other things. I do not tell you all I know about all these other
things, because I do not want to swamp you with knowledge. I wish
to lead you gradually. When you have learnt this book, you can come
again, and I will tell you some more. I should only be defeating my
own object did I, by making you think too much at first, give you a
perhaps, lasting dislike to the exercise. I have purposely put the
matter in a light and attractive form, so that I may secure the
attention of the young and the frivolous. I do not want them to
notice, as they go on, that they are being instructed; and I have,
therefore, endeavoured to disguise from them, so far as is
practicable, that this is either an exceptionally clever or an
exceptionally useful work. I want to do them good without their
knowing it. I want to do you all good - to improve your minds and to
make you think, if I can.
WHAT you will think after you have read the book, I do not want to
know; indeed, I would rather not know. It will be sufficient reward
for me to feel that I have done my duty, and to receive a percentage
on the gross sales.
LONDON, March, 1891.
DIARY OF A PILGRIMAGE
My Friend B. - Invitation to the Theatre. - A Most Unpleasant
Regulation. - Yearnings of the Embryo Traveller. - How to Make the
Most of One's Own Country. - Friday, a Lucky Day. - The Pilgrimage
My friend B. called on me this morning and asked me if I would go to
a theatre with him on Monday next.
"Oh, yes! certainly, old man," I replied. "Have you got an order,
"No; they don't give orders. We shall have to pay."
"Pay! Pay to go into a theatre!" I answered, in astonishment. "Oh,
nonsense! You are joking."
"My dear fellow," he rejoined, "do you think I should suggest paying
if it were possible to get in by any other means? But the people
who run this theatre would not even understand what was meant by a
'free list,' the uncivilised barbarians! It is of no use pretending
to them that you are on the Press, because they don't want the
Press; they don't think anything of the Press.