Excerpt: "Next to actual travel, the reading of first-class travel stories by men and women of genius is the finest aid to the broadening of views and enlargement of useful knowledge of men and the world's ways. It is the highest form of intellectual recreation, with the advantage over fiction-reading of satisfying the wholesome desire for facts. With all our modern enthusiasm for long journeys and foreign travel, now so easy of accomplishment, we see but very little of the great world. The fact that ocean voyages are now called mere "trips" has not made us over-familiar with even our own kinsfolk in our new dependencies. Foreign peoples and lands are still strange to us. Tropic and Arctic lands are as far apart in condition as ever; Europe differs from Asia, America from Africa, as markedly as ever. Man still presents every grade of development, from the lowest savagery to the highest civilization, and our interest in the marvels of nature and art, the variety of plant and animal life, and the widely varied habits and conditions, modes of thought and action, of mankind, is in no danger of losing its zest."