What a splendid thing it is to embark on a new career, and to appear all of a sudden before the world of learning holding a book, in the same way that an unexpected comet flashes through space!
No, I will no longer keep my book to myself; here it is, gentlemen: read it. I have undertaken and completed a forty-two day journey around my room. The interesting observations I have made, and the continual pleasure I experienced en route, filled me with the desire to publish it; the certainty of being useful was the decisive factor. My heart senses an inexpressible satisfaction when I think of the countless unhappy people to whom I am here offering a sure and certain resource against boredom, and an alleviation of the ills they endure. The pleasure you find in travelling around your room is safe from the restless jealousy of men; it is independent of the fickleness of fortune.
--by Xavier de Maistre
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