Europe Revised By Irvin S. Cobb

 -   The
foreigner has only to be sufficiently liberal and he is assured
of a flattering reception wheresoever his straying footsteps - Page 180
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The Foreigner Has Only To Be Sufficiently Liberal And He Is Assured Of A Flattering Reception Wheresoever His Straying Footsteps

May carry him, whether in Paris or in the provinces; but wheresoever those feet of his do carry him he

Will find a people distinguished by a frugality and inspired by an economy of the frugalest and most economical character conceivable. In the streets of the metropolis he is expected, when going anywhere, to hail the fast-flitting taxicab [Footnote: Stops on signal only - and sometimes not then.], though the residents patronize the public bus. Indeed, the distinction is made clear to his understanding from the moment he passes the first outlying fortress at the national frontier [Footnote: Flag station.] - since, for the looks of things if for no better reason, he must travel first-class on the de-luxe trains [Footnote: Diner taken off when you are about half through eating.], whereas the Frenchmen pack themselves tightly but frugally into the second-class and the third-class compartments.

Before I went to France I knew Saint Denis was the patron saint of the French; but I did not know why until I heard the legend connected with his death. When the executioner on the hill at Montmartre cut off his head the good saint picked it up and strolled across the fields with it tucked under his arm - so runs the tale. His head, in that shape, was no longer of any particular value to him, but your true Parisian is of a saving disposition.

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