clearly - and this letter is written after a thousand miles of
experiences - that money will not buy you
Service in the West.
When the hotel clerk - the man who awards your room to you and who
is supposed to give you information - when that resplendent
individual stoops to attend to your wants he does so whistling or
hum-ming or picking his teeth, or pauses to converse with some
one he knows. These performances, I gather, are to impress upon
you that he is a free man and your equal. From his general
appearance and the size of his diamonds he ought to be your
superior. There is no necessity for this swaggering
self-consciousness of freedom. Business is business, and the man
who is paid to attend to a man might reasonably devote his whole
attention to the job. Out of office hours he can take his coach
and four and pervade society if he pleases.
In a vast marble-paved hall, under the glare of an electric
light, sat forty or fifty men, and for their use and amusement
were provided spittoons of infinite capacity and generous gape.
Most of the men wore frock-coats and top-hats - the things that we
in India put on at a wedding-break-fast, if we possess them - but
they all spat. They spat on principle. The spittoons were on
the staircases, in each bedroom - yea, and in chambers even more
sacred than these.
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Words from 1601 to 1851