Japan

All visitors to New York speak of the exhilaration of its air, and I can but repeat their testimony. After the first few days the idea of going to bed became an absurdity.

Calcutta and Bombay are strangely different - so different that they can only be contrasted. Bombay, first and foremost, has the sea, and I can think of nothing more lovely than the sunsets that one watches from the lawn of the Yacht Club or from the promenade on Warder Road. Calcutta has no sea - nothing but a very difficult tidal river. Calcutta, again, has no Malabar Hill. But then Bombay has no open space to compare with the Maidan; and for all its crowded bazaars it has no street so diversified and interesting as Harrison Road. It has no Chinatown.

My first experience of democracy-in-being followed swiftly upon boarding the steamboat for San Francisco, when "Show this man Number 231" was the American steward's command to a cabin boy. I had no objection to being called a man: far from it; but after years of being called a gentleman it was startling. This happened at Yokohama; and when, in the Customs House at San Francisco, a porter wheeling a truck broke through a queue of us waiting to obtain our quittances, with the careless warning, "Out of the way, fellers!" I knew that here was democracy indeed.

America is a land of newspapers, and the newspapers are very largely the same. To a certain extent many of them are exactly the same, for the vastness of the country makes it possible to syndicalise various features, so that you find Walt Mason's sagacious and merry and punctual verse, printed to look like prose but never disappointing the ear, in one of the journals that you buy wherever you are, in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Chicago or New York; and Mr. Montagu's topical rhymes in another; and the daily adventures of Mutt and Jeff, who are national heroes, in a third.

Although India is a land of walkers, there is no sound of footfalls. Most of the feet are bare and all are silent: dark strangers overtake one like ghosts.

Both in the cities and the country some one is always walking. There are carts and motorcars, and on the roads about Delhi a curious service of camel omnibuses, but most of the people walk, and they walk ever. In the bazaars they walk in their thousands; on the long, dusty roads, miles from anywhere, there are always a few, approaching or receding.

  Ah, what avails the sceptred race, 
    Ah, what the form divine! 
  What every virtue, every grace! 
    Rose Aylmer, all were thine!

It was in San Francisco that I learned - and very quickly - that it is as necessary to visit America in order to know what Americans are like as it is to leave one's own country in order to know more about that. Americans when abroad are less hearty, less revealing. They are either suffering from a constraint or an over-assertiveness; and both moods may be due to not being at home. In neither case are they so natural as at home. I suppose that on soil not our own we all tend to be a little over-anxious to proclaim our nationality, to maintain the distinction.

I was fortunate in being in New York when the Metropolitan Museum celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its birth, for I was therefore able to enjoy not only its normal treasures but such others as had been borrowed for birthday presents, which means that I saw Mrs. H. E. Huntington's Vermeer, as well as the supreme Marquand example of that master; more than the regular wealth of Rembrandts, Manet's "Still Life," Gauguin's "Women by the River," El Greco's "View of Toledo," Franz Hals' big jovial Dutchman from Mr.

I did not have to wait to reach India for that great and exciting moment when one is first called "Sahib." I was addressed as "Sahib," to my mingled pride and confusion, at Marseilles, by an attendant on the steamer which I joined there.

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