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The Great Stone of Sardis

The Great Stone of Sardis

Frank R. Stockton

Update: 2020-04-22

INTRODUCTORY SKETCH

  • To endeavor to carry some of the great inventions and mechanical improvements
  • of the latter part of this century into the early decades of the next was the
  • main incentive to the writing of this story. The wonderful power of projection
  • possessed by the ordnance of to-day, the advance made in the art of submarine
  • navigation, and the astonishing special results of the action of electric
  • light have given to the thinking men of this age reason to expect a still
  • greater progress in these branches, which have already progressed so far. To
  • show some possible results from this progression has been the object of the
  • labors of most of the men and women who play their parts in this book.
  • These men and women are, for the most part, plain people who might have lived
  • anywhere, but the scene of their actions, when not penetrating into the polar
  • regions, was laid in northern New Jersey, for the reason that it pleased me to
  • make my characters dare and love and succeed amid the same beautiful scenery
  • which surrounded me as I wrote the story.
  • No one of these characters is drawn from real life. In his youth Roland Crewe
  • might have been acquainted with Mr. Edison, and the success of that eminent
  • tamer of natural forces may have fired his young ambition to do great deeds in
  • the same arena. Sarah Block may have been living in a little cottage on the
  • Passaic, and Rovinski may have been working in the neighborhood of my garden,
  • trying to find out how I made the purple fruit grow to such an exceptional
  • size upon my egg-plants; but if any of these things were true I knew nothing
  • about it. The characters belong to the book, and can claim no residential
  • rights outside of it.
  • I believe that none of the happenings in the book should be considered
  • absolutely impossible. Knowing as much as we do of what has been, and what is,
  • we should be very credulous in regard to what is to be. If, in the next half
  • century, science and the mechanical arts move onward as they have moved during
  • the last half century, there will be some people, now little children, who
  • will be justified in looking back with considerable condescension upon their
  • ancestors.
  • **_Frank R. Stockton_**