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. In our hats can perhaps be too firmly planted the invisible flag of our country.

Be this as it may, I very quickly discerned a difference between Americans in America and in England. I found them simple where I had thought of them as the reverse, and now, after meeting others in various parts of the country, even in complex and composite New York, I should say that simplicity is the keynote of the American character. It is in his simplicity that the American differs most from the European. Such simplicity is perfectly consistent with the impatience, the desire for novelty, for brevity, of the American people. We think of them as always wishing to reduce life to formulae, as unwilling to express any surprise, and these tendencies may easily be considered as signs of a tiring civilisation. But in reality they are signs of youth too.