I have endeavoured in this book to provide some kind of answer to the questions which I found by experience are generally put by the traveller who comes to Russia for the first time, and whose curiosity is stimulated with regard to the way in which the people live and to the manner of their government.
I have endeavoured to convey to the reader a single idea of the nature of the more important factors in Russian life. I am only too well aware that what I have to supply in the way of explanation and elucidation is inadequate, incomplete, and superficial. My excuse is that the questions of the average inquirer are, as a rule, neither profound nor comprehensive; and that profound or comprehensive replies, were I capable of giving them -- which I am not -- would be received neither with attention nor interest.
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