Religions change; beer and wine remain.
Each new generation is a fresh invasion of savages.
Legends are material to be moulded, and not facts to be recorded.
Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.
Local color has a fatal tendency to remain local; but it is also true that the universal often borders on the void.
In a continent but recently settled, many parts of which have as yet little historical or cultural background, the material for this volume has been gathered from a section that was one of the first to be colonized.
Here the Frenchman, Spaniard, and Englishman all passed, leaving each his legend; and a brilliant and more or less feudal civilization with its aristocracy and slaves has departed with the economic system upon which it rested.