In essentials America is American, but when it comes to inessentials, to trimmings, her dependence on old England was noticeable again and again as I walked about New York. The fashion which, at the moment, the print shops were fostering was for our racing, hunting and coaching coloured prints of a century ago, while in the gallery of the distinguished little Grolier Club I found an exhibition of the work of Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway. In such old bookshops as I visited all the emphasis was - just then - laid upon Keats and Lamb and Shelley, whose first editions and presentation copies seem to be continually making the westward journey. I had not been in New York twenty-four hours before Keats' "Lamia," 1820 - with an inscription from the author to Charles Lamb - the very copy from which, I imagine, Lamb wrote his review, was in my hands; but it would have been far beyond my means even if the pound were not standing at 3.83. These "association" books, in which American collectors take especial pleasure, can be very costly. At a sale soon after I left New York, seven presentation copies of Dickens' books, containing merely the author's signed inscription, realised 4870 dollars. To continue, in Wanamaker's old curiosity department I found little but English furniture and odds and ends, at prices which in their own country would have been fantastically high. In the "Vanity Fair" department, however (as I think it is called), the source was French. I suppose that French influence must be at the back of all the costumiers and jewellers of New York, but the shops themselves are far more spacious than those in Paris and not less well-appointed. Tiffany's is a palace; all it lacks is a name, but its splendid anonymity is, I take it, a point of honour.

It used to be said that good Americans when they died went to Paris. The Parisian lure no doubt is still powerful; but every day I should guess that more of Paris comes to America. The upper parts of New York have boulevards and apartment houses very like the real thing, and I noticed that the architecture of France exerts a special attraction for the rich man decreeing himself a pleasure dome. There are millionaires' residences in New York that might have been transplanted not only from the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, but from Touraine itself; while when I made my pilgrimage to Mr. Widener's, just outside Philadelphia, I found Rembrandt's "Mill," and Manet's dead bull-fighter, and a Vermeer, and a little meadow painted divinely by Corot, and El Greco's family group, and Donatello's St. George, and one of the most lovely scenes that ever was created by Turner's enchanted brush, all enshrined in a palace which Louis Seize might have built.

But America is even more French than this. Her women can be not less soignees than those of France, although they suggest a cooler blood and less dependence on male society; her bread and coffee are better than France's best. Moreover, when it comes to night and the Broadway constellations challenge the darkness, New York leaves Paris far behind. For every cabaret and supper resort that Paris can provide, New York has three; and for every dancing floor in Paris, New York has thirty. Good Americans, however, will still remain faithful to their old posthumous love, if only for her wine.

Apropos of American women, their position struck me as very different from the position of women with us. English women are deferential to their husbands; they are content to be relegated to the background on all occasions when they are not wanted. They are dependent. They seldom wear an air of triumph and rarely take the lead. But American women are complacent and assured, they do most of the talking, make most of the plans: if they are not seen, it is because they are in the background; they are either active prominently elsewhere or are high on pedestals. With each other they are mostly or often humorously direct, whereas with men they seem to adopt an ironical or patronising attitude. American women seem also to have a curious power of attracting to themselves other women who admire them and foster their self-esteem. And, for all that I know, these satellites have satellites too. Their federacy almost amounts to a solid secret society; not so much against men, for men must provide the sinews of war and other comforts, but for their own satisfaction. Both sexes appear not to languish when alone.