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Charles Dickens > American Notes > Preface

American Notes


MY readers have opportunities of judging for themselves whether the
influences and tendencies which I distrusted in America, had, at
that time, any existence but in my imagination. They can examine
for themselves whether there has been anything in the public career
of that country since, at home or abroad, which suggests that those
influences and tendencies really did exist. As they find the fact,
they will judge me. If they discern any evidences of wrong-going,
in any direction that I have indicated, they will acknowledge that
I had reason in what I wrote. If they discern no such indications,
they will consider me altogether mistaken - but not wilfully.

Prejudiced, I am not, and never have been, otherwise than in favour
of the United States. I have many friends in America, I feel a
grateful interest in the country, I hope and believe it will
successfully work out a problem of the highest importance to the
whole human race. To represent me as viewing AMERICA with ill-
nature, coldness, or animosity, is merely to do a very foolish
thing: which is always a very easy one.

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