It is necessary to state that this
volume is not by the Authoress of the '_Englishwoman in Russia_.']
Prefatory and explanatory - The voyage out - The sentimental - The actual -
The oblivious - The medley - Practical joking - An unwelcome companion -
American patriotism - The first view - The departure.
As a general dislike of prefaces is unmistakeably evidenced by their uncut
leaves, and as unknown readers could scarcely be induced to read a book by
the most cogent representations of an unknown author, and as apologies for
"rushing into print" are too trite and insincere to have any effect, I
will merely prefix a few explanatory remarks to my first chapter.
Circumstances which it is unnecessary to dwell upon led me across the
Atlantic with some relatives; and on my return, I was requested by
numerous friends to give an account of my travels. As this volume has been
written with a view to their gratification, there is far more of personal
narrative than is likely to interest the general reader.
With respect to the people of the United States, I have given those
impressions which as a traveller I formed; if they are more favourable
than those of some of my predecessors, the difference may arise from my
having taken out many excellent introductions, which afforded me greater
facilities of seeing the best society in the States than are usually
possessed by those who travel merely to see the country.
Where I have offered any opinions upon the effect produced by the
institutions of America, or upon any great national question, I have done
so with extreme diffidence, giving _impressions_ rather than
conclusions, feeling the great injustice of drawing general inferences
from partial premises, as well as the impossibility of rightly estimating
cause and effect during a brief residence in the United States.