How to Observe

How to Observe
Morals and Manners

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How to Observe by Harriet Martineau

Published:

1838

Pages:

173

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7,599

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How to Observe
Morals and Manners

By

0
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Book Excerpt

No books are so little to be trusted as travels. All travellers do and must generalize too rapidly. Most, if not all, take a fact for a principle, or the exception for the rule, more or less; and the quickest minds, which love to reason and explain more than to observe with patience, go most astray. My faith in travels received a mortal wound when I travelled. I read, as I went along, the books of those who had preceded me, and found that we did not see with the same eyes. Even descriptions of nature proved false. The traveller had viewed the prospect at a different season, or in a different light, and substituted the transient for the fixed. Still I think travels useful. Different accounts give means of approximation to truth; and by-and-by what is fixed and essential in a people will be brought out."

It ought to be an animating thought to a traveller that, even if it be not in his power to settle any one point respecting the morals and manners of an empire, he can infallibly aid in supplying means of

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