I had been to the Metropolitan Museum looking at beautiful things and rejoicing in them.

And then I had to catch a train and go far into the country, to Paul Smith's.

And as the light lessened and the brooding hour set in I looked out of the window and reconstructed some of the lovely things I had seen - the sculptures and the paintings, the jewels and the porcelain: all the fine flower of the arts through the ages.

It seemed marvellous beyond understanding that such perfection could exist, and I thought how wonderful it must be to be God and see His creatures rising now and again to such heights.

And then I came to a station where there was to be a very long wait, and I went to an inn for a meal.

It was a dirty neglected place, with a sullen unwashed man at the door, who called raspingly to his wife within.

And when she came she was a slattern, with dishevelled hair and a soiled dress and apron, and she looked miserable and worn out.

She prepared a meal which I could not eat, and when I went to pay for it I found her sitting dejectedly in a chair looking with a kind of dumb despair at the day's washing-up still to do.

And as I walked up and down the road waiting for the car I thought of this woman's earlier life when she was happy.

I thought of her in her courtship, when her husband loved her and they looked forward to marriage and he was tender and she was blithe.

They probably went to Coney Island together and laughed with the rest.

And it seemed iniquitous that such changes should come about and that merry girls should grow into sluts and slovens, and ardent young husbands should degenerate into unkempt bullies, and houses meant for happiness should decay, and marriage promises all be forgotten.

And I felt that if the world could not be better managed than that I never wanted to see any of God's artistic darlings at the top of their form again and the Metropolitan Museum could go hang.