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.
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