East of Suez
Frederic Courtland Penfield
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This historical book tells about some beautiful place of east like East of Suez Ceylon, India, China and Japan. If books of travel were not written the stay at home millions would know little of the strange or interesting sights of this beautiful world of ours; and it surely is better to have a vicarious knowledge of what is beyond the vision than dwell in ignorance of the ways and places of men and women included in the universal human family. The Great East is a fascinating theme to most readers, and every traveler, from Marco Polo to the tourist of the present time, taking the trouble to record what he saw, has placed every fireside reader under distinct obligation. So thorough was my mental acquaintance with India through years of sympathetic study of Kipling that a leisurely survey of Hind simply confirmed my impressions. Other generous writers had as faithfully taught what China in reality was, and Mortimer Menpes, Basil Hall Chamberlain, and Miss Sycamore had as conscientiously depicted to my understanding the ante war Japan. Grateful am I, as well, to the legion of tireless writers attracted to the East by recent strife and conquest, who have made Fuji more familiar to average readers than any mountain peak in the United States; who have made the biographies of favorite geishas known even in our hamlets and mining camps, and whose agreeable iteration of scenes on Manila's lunetta compel our Malaysian capital to be known as well as Coney Island and Atlantic City they have so graphically portrayed and described interesting features that of them nothing remains to be told. But to know Eastern lands and peoples without an intermediary is keenly delightful and compensating.