Europe Revised By Irvin S. Cobb


In desperation you rise up from there and flee away to your hotel
and hide in your room, and lock - Page 210
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In Desperation You Rise Up From There And Flee Away To Your Hotel And Hide In Your Room, And Lock

And double-lock the doors, and begin to study timetables with a view to quitting Paris on the first train

Leaving for anywhere, the only drawback to a speedy consummation of this happy prospect being that no living creature can fathom the meaning of French timetables.

It is not so much the aggregate amount of which they have despoiled you - it is the knowledge that every other person in Paris is seeking and planning to nick you for some sum, great or small; it is the realization that, by reason of your ignorance of the language and the customs of the land, you are at their mercy, and they have no mercy - that, as Walter Pater so succinctly phrases it, that is what gets your goat - and gets it good!

So you shake the dust from your feet - your own dust, not Paris' dust - and you depart per hired hack for the station and per train from the station. And as the train draws away from the trainshed you behold behind you two legends or inscriptions, repeated and reiterated everywhere on the walls of the French capital.

One of them says: English Spoken Here!

And the other says: Liberality! Economy! Frugality!

Chapter XVI

As Done in London

London is essentially a he-town, just as Paris is indubitably a she-town. That untranslatable, unmistakable something which is not to be defined in the plain terms of speech, yet which sets its mark on any long-settled community, has branded them both - the one as being masculine, the other as being feminine.

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