Mr. W.D. Howells, in reply to a literary society in Ashtabula County, Ohio, said that most people had within their personal experience one book. I have often quoted Howellss words to my best friend, who has written a score of books, and the answer as frequently comes, "Why not write a book yourself?" Encouraged by Howellss belief, and stimulated by the accepted challenge of my friend, to whom I promised a completed book in twelve months, I found time during a very busy year to pencil the chapters that follow. Most of the book was written while waiting at stations, or on the cars, and in hotels, using the spare moments of an eight-months lecture season, and the four months at home occupied by business. I am aware that some critics decry a novel written with a purpose. Permit me therefore in advance to admit that this book has a double purpose: To test the truth of Howellss words as applied to myself; and to describe a journey, both at home and abroad, which may possibly be enjoyed by the reader, the inconveniences of travel being lessened by incidentally tracing a love story to a strange but perhaps satisfactory conclusion; the whole leading to the evolution of a successful experiment, which in fragments is being tried in various parts of the civilized world.
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