The Complete Works of Mark Twain

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Mark Twain > Innocents Abroad > Preface

Innocents Abroad


This book is a record of a pleasure trip. If it were a record of a
solemn scientific expedition, it would have about it that gravity, that
profundity, and that impressive incomprehensibility which are so proper
to works of that kind, and withal so attractive. Yet notwithstanding it
is only a record of a pic-nic, it has a purpose, which is to suggest to
the reader how he would be likely to see Europe and the East if he looked
at them with his own eyes instead of the eyes of those who traveled in
those countries before him. I make small pretense of showing anyone how
he ought to look at objects of interest beyond the sea--other books do
that, and therefore, even if I were competent to do it, there is no need.

I offer no apologies for any departures from the usual style of travel-
writing that may be charged against me--for I think I have seen with
impartial eyes, and I am sure I have written at least honestly, whether
wisely or not.

In this volume I have used portions of letters which I wrote for the
Daily Alta California, of San Francisco, the proprietors of that journal
having waived their rights and given me the necessary permission. I have
also inserted portions of several letters written for the New York
Tribune and the New York Herald.


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