The Englishwoman In America By Isabella Lucy Bird


It was through an introduction given me by a valued English friend that I,
as an English stranger, was received - Page 380
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It Was Through An Introduction Given Me By A Valued English Friend That I, As An English Stranger, Was Received With The Kindest Hospitality By Some Of Those Who Have Been Rendered Thus Exclusive By The Bad Taste And Worse Conduct Of Foreigners.

I feel, as I write, that any remarks I make on New York society cannot be perfectly free from bias, owing to the overwhelming kindness and glowing hospitality which I met with in that city.

I found so much to enjoy in society, and so much to interest and please everywhere, that when I left New York it was with the wish that the few weeks which I was able to spend there could have been prolonged into as many months.

But, to answer the question. The best society in New York would not suffer by comparison in any way with the best society in England. It is not in the upper classes of any nation that we must look for national characteristics or peculiarities. Society throughout the civilized world is, to a certain extent, cast in the same mould; the same laws of etiquette prevail, and the same conventionalisms restrict in great measure the display of any individual characteristics. Balls are doubtless the same in "society" all over the world; a certain amount of black cloth, kid gloves, white muslin, epaulettes if they can be procured, dancing, music, and ices. Every one acknowledges that dinner-parties are equally dull in London and Paris, in Calcutta and in New York, unless the next neighbour happens to be peculiarly agreeable.

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