American Notes By Rudyard Kipling








































































































































 -  Let me watch the
people in the cars and try to find out in what manner they differ
from us - Page 11
American Notes By Rudyard Kipling - Page 11 of 101 - First - Home

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Let Me Watch The People In The Cars And Try To Find Out In What Manner They Differ From Us, Their Ancestors.

It grieves me now that I cursed them (in the matter of book piracy), because I perceived that my curse is working and that their speech is be-coming a horror already.

They delude them-selves into the belief that they talk English - the English - and I have already been pitied for speaking with "an English accent." The man who pitied me spoke, so far as I was concerned, the language of thieves. And they all do. Where we put the accent forward they throw it back, and vice versa where we give the long "a" they use the short, and words so simple as to be past mistaking they pronounce somewhere up in the dome of their heads. How do these things happen?

Oliver Wendell Holmes says that the Yankee school-marm, the cider and the salt codfish of the Eastern States, are responsible for what he calls a nasal accent. I know better. They stole books from across the water without paying for 'em, and the snort of delight was fixed in their nostrils forever by a just Providence. That is why they talk a foreign tongue to-day.

"Cats is dogs, and rabbits is dogs, and so's parrots. But this 'ere tortoise is an insect, so there ain't no charge," as the old porter said.

A Hindoo is a Hindoo and a brother to the man who knows his vernacular.

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