Travel ought to combine amusement with instruc tion; but most travellers are so much amused that they refuse to be instructed. I do not blame them for being amused it is perfectly natural to be amused at a Dutchman for being Dutch or a Chinaman for being Chinese. Where they are wrong is that they take their own amusement seriously. They base on it their serious ideas of international instruction. It was said that the Englishman takes his pleasures sadly; and the pleasure of despising foreigners is one which he takes most sadly of all. He comes to scoff and does not remain to pray, but rather to excommunicate. Hence in international relations there is far too little laughing, and far too much sneering. But I believe that there is a better way which largely consists of laughter a form of friendship between nations which is actually founded on differences. To hint at some such better way is the only excuse of this book.