Well, I console myself — since consolation is needed — with the greater bonhomie. Have you ever arrived at an English country-house in the dusk of a winter’s day? Have you ever made a call in London when you knew nobody but the hostess? People here are more expressive, more demonstrative; and it’s a pleasure, when one comes back — if one happens, like me, to be no one in particular — to feel one’s merely personal and unclassified value rise. They attend to you more; they have you on their mind; they talk to you; they listen to you. That is the men do; the women listen very little — not enough. They interrupt, they prattle, one feels their presence too much as importunate and untrained sound. I imagine this is partly because their wits are quick and they think of a good many things to say; not indeed that they always say such wonders! Perfect repose, after all, is not all self-control; it’s also partly stupidity. American women, however, make too many vague exclamations — say too many indefinite things, have in short still a great deal of nature. The American order or climate or whatever gives them a nature they can let loose. Europe has to protect itself with more art. On the whole I find very little affectation, though we shall probably have more as we improve. As yet people haven’t the assurance that carries those things off; they know too much about each other. The trouble is that over here we’ve all been brought up together. You’ll think this a picture of a dreadfully insipid society; but I hasten to add that it’s not all so tame as that. I’ve been speaking of the people that one meets socially, and these’re the smallest part of American life. The others — those one meets on a basis of mere convenience — are much more exciting; they keep one’s temper in healthy exercise. I mean the people in the shops and on the railroads; the servants, the hack-men, the labourers, the conductors; every one of whom you buy anything or have occasion to make an inquiry. With them you need all your best manners, for you must always have enough for two. If you think we’re too democratic taste a little of American life in these walks and you’ll be reassured. This is the region of inequality, and you’ll find plenty of people to make your curtsey to. You see it from below — the weight of inequality’s on your own back. You asked me to tell you about prices. They’re unspeakable.
Tableaux showing scenes from well-known novels, and thrilling historical events depicted in pantomime, came next, and the company was invited to name them as they followed one another in quick succession,—Eliza crossing the river by leaping from ice block to ice block, the bloodhounds in hot pursuit; Pochahontas saving the life of her noble Captain John; Rochester, holding Jane Eyre spellbound by the steely glitter of his eye; and the Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers, landing on a stern and rock-bound coast, ably represented by the dining-room table. As Uncle Harry sat on the table he was obliged to be the center of this thrilling scene, which was variously surmised by the audience to be the capture of a slave-ship by pirates, the rescue of a babe from a tenement-house fire, the killing of Julius C?sar in the Roman Senate, or an impassioned attempt to drag Casabianca from the burning deck.
A single wingtip feather, he found, moved a fraction of an inch, gives a smooth sweeping curve at tremendous speed. Before he learned this, however, he found that moving more than one feather at that speed will spin you like a rifle ball... and Jonathan had flown the first aerobatics of any seagull on earth.详情 ➢
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