In this book I have sought to present the reader with some dry facts about Corea and the Coreans. I have attempted to describe the manners and customs of the people as accurately as possible from the impressions which my visit to their country left upon me, but of course I do not claim that these personal opinions expressed are absolutely infallible. My sojourn extended over several months, and I never during all that time neglected any opportunity of studying the natives, giving my observations as they were made a permanent form by the aid both of pen and of brush. I was afforded specially favourable chances for this kind of work through the kind hospitality shown me by the Vice-Minister of Home Affairs and Adviser to the King, Mr. C.R. Greathouse, to whom I feel greatly indebted for my prolonged and delightful stay in the country, as well as for the amiable and valuable assistance which he and General Le Gendre, Foreign Adviser to His Corean Majesty, gave me in my observations and studies among the upper classes of Corea. I am also under great obligations to Mr. Seradin Sabatin, Architect to His Majesty the King, and to Mr. Krien, German Consul at Seoul, for the kindness and hospitality with which they treated me on my first arrival at their city.

The illustrations in this book are reproductions of sketches taken by me while in the country, and though, perhaps, they want much in artistic merit, I venture to hope that they will be found characteristic.

For literary style I hope my readers will not look. I am not a literary man, nor do I desire to profess myself such. I trust, however, that I have succeeded in telling my story in a simple and straightforward manner, for this especially was the object with which I started at the outset.