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Henry Morton Stanley, Dorothy Stanley, The Autobiography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley, part 2.13, chapter 2.16 (search)
d the more tasks I receive, the happier is my life. I want work, close, absorbing, and congenial work, only so that there will be no time for regrets, and vain desires, and morbid thoughts. In the interval, books come handy. I have picked up Helvetius and Zimmerman, in Alexandria, and, though there is much wisdom in them, they are ill-suited to young men with a craze for action. And now he is back at headquarters in London, and gets his orders for Spain; and there he spends six months, March to September, 1869, describing various scenes of the revolution, and the general aspect of the country, in a graphic record. These letters are among the best of his descriptive writings. The Spanish scenery and people; the stirring events; the barricades and street-fighting; the leaders and the typical characters; the large issues at stake — all make a great and varied theme. On arriving in Spain, Stanley commenced studying Spanish, with such success, that, by June, he was able to make