Although the faulty judgment of authors on their own productions has assumed something like the force of a proverb, I am ready to incur the hazard of avowing that the present volume is, to my own thinking, better than anything else I have done. I am not about to defend its numerous shortcomings and great faults. I will not say one word in extenuation of a plan which, to many readers, forms an insuperable objection, that of a story in letters. I wish simply to record the fact that the book afforded me much pleasure in the writing, and that I felt an amount of interest in the character of Kenny Dodd such as I have never before nor since experienced for any personage of my own creation. The reader who is at all acquainted with the incidents of foreign travel, and the strange individuals to be met with on every European highway, will readily acquit me of exaggeration either in describing the mistaken impressions conceived of Continental life, or the difficulties of forming anything like a correct estimate of national habits by those whose own sphere of observation was so limited in their own country.