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!
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.