at these hotels I found myself driven away - propelled as it were by
some unknown force - to absent myself from the feminine haunts.
Anything was more palatable than them, even "liquoring up" at a
nasty bar, or smoking in a comfortless reading-room among a deluge
of American newspapers.
And I protest also - hoping as I do so that
I may say much in this book to prove the truth of such
protestation - that this comes from no fault of the American women.
They are as lovely as our own women. Taken generally, they are
better instructed, though perhaps not better educated. They are
seldom troubled with mauvaise honte; I do not say it in irony, but
begging that the words may be taken at their proper meaning. They
can always talk, and very often can talk well. But when assembled
together in these vast, cavernous, would-be luxurious, but in truth
horribly comfortless hotel drawing-rooms, they are unapproachable.
I have seen lovers, whom I have known to be lovers, unable to
remain five minutes in the same cavern with their beloved ones.
And then the music! There is always a piano in a hotel drawing-
room, on which, of course, some one of the forlorn ladies is
generally employed. I do not suppose that these pianos are in
fact, as a rule, louder and harsher, more violent and less musical,
than other instruments of the kind.
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