On three evenings in succession we gave seances, and, as we had earned more money than we needed, we left without delay to escape from our burdensome admirers.
In writing this chapter, which has revived in my memory our various expeditions and wanderings through Asia, I have recalled by association the curious notion about this continent which is held by most Europeans.
Having lived fifteen years uninterruptedly in the West, and being constantly in contact with people of all nationalities, I have come to the conclusion that no one in Europe knows or has any idea about Asia.
Most people in Europe and America have the notion that Asia is a kind of indefinite, great continent adjoining Europe, and inhabited by savage or, at best, semi-savage groups of peoples who just happened to be there and go wild.
Their ideas about its size are very vague; they are always ready to compare it with European countries and do not suspect that Asia is such a vast continent that several Europes could be put into it, and that it contains whole races of people about whom not only Europeans but even Asiatics themselves have never heard. Furthermore, among these ‘savage groups’ certain sciences, as, for example, medicine, astrology, natural science and so on, without any wiseacring or hypothetical explanations, have long since attained a degree of perfection which European civilization may perhaps reach only after several hundred years.