This is not a history. It is not a guidebook. It is not an encyclopedia. It is nothing more ambitious than the title would indicate: a stroll about Washington with my arm through my reader’s, and a bit of friendly chat by the way. Mr. Hornby, sketchbook in hand, will accompany us, to give permanence to our impressions here and there.
First, we will take a general look at the city and recall some of the more interesting incidents connected with its century and a quarter of growth. Next, we will walk at our leisure through its public places and [try to people them in imagination with the figures which once were so much in evidence there.
For the stories woven into our talk, I make no further claim than that they have come to me from a variety of sources—personal observation, dinner-table gossip, old letters and diaries, and local tradition. A few, which seemed rather too vague in detail, I have tried to verify.
My ardor for research, however, was dampened by the discovery of from two to a dozen versions of every occurrence, so that I have been driven to accepting those which appeared most probable or most picturesque, falling back upon the plea of the Last Minstrel:
And now, let us be off!
F. E. L.
August 1, 1915.