"What strikes and frightens the backward European as much as anything in the United States is the efficiency and fearful universality of the telephone. Just as I think of the big cities as agglomerations pierced everywhere by elevator-shafts full of movement, so I think of them as being threaded, under pavements and over roofs and between floors and ceilings and between walls, by millions upon millions of live filaments that unite all the privacies of the organism - and destroy them in order to make one immense publicity! I do not mean that Europe has failed to adopt the telephone, nor that in Europe there are no hotels with the dreadful curse of an active telephone in every room. But I do mean that the European telephone is a toy, and a somewhat clumsy one, compared with the inexorable seriousness of the American telephone. Many otherwise highly civilized Europeans are as timid in addressing a telephone as they would be in addressing a royal sovereign. The average European middle-class householder still speaks of his telephone, if he has one, in the same falsely casual tone as the corresponding American is liable to speak of his motor-car. It is naught - a negligible trifle - but somehow it comes into the conversation!

"How odd!" you exclaim. And you are right. It is we Europeans who are wrong, through no particular fault of our own.

The American is ruthlessly logical about the telephone. The only occasion on which I was in really serious danger of being taken for a madman in the United States was when, in a Chicago hotel, I permanently removed the receiver from the telephone in a room designed (doubtless ironically) for slumber. The whole hotel was appalled. Half Chicago shuddered. In response to the prayer of a deputation from the management I restored the receiver. On the horrified face of the deputation I could read the unspoken query: "Is it conceivable that you have been in this country a month without understanding that the United States is primarily nothing but a vast congeries of telephone-cabins?" Yes, I yielded and admired! And I surmise that on my next visit I shall find a telephone on every table of every restaurant that respects itself.

It is the efficiency of the telephone that makes it irresistible to a great people whose passion is to "get results" - the instancy with which the communication is given, and the clear loudness of the telephone's voice in reply to yours: phenomena utterly unknown in Europe. Were I to inhabit the United States, I too should become a victim of the telephone habit, as it is practised in its most advanced form in those suburban communities to which I have already incidentally referred at the end of the previous chapter. There a woman takes to the telephone as women in more decadent lands take to morphia. You can see her at morn at her bedroom window, pouring confidences into her telephone, thus combining the joy of an innocent vice with the healthy freshness of breeze and sunshine. It has happened to me to sit in a drawing-room, where people gathered round the telephone as Europeans gather round a fire, and to hear immediately after the ejaculation of a number into the telephone a sharp ring from outside through the open window, and then to hear in answer to the question, "What are you going to wear to-night?" two absolutely simultaneous replies, one loudly from the telephone across the room, and the other faintlier from a charming human voice across the garden: "I don't know. What are you?" Such may be the pleasing secondary scientific effect of telephoning to the lady next door on a warm afternoon.

Now it was obvious that behind the apparently simple exterior aspects of any telephone system there must be an intricate and marvelous secret organization. In Europe my curiosity would probably never have been excited by the thought of that organization - at home one accepts everything as of course! - but, in the United States, partly because the telephone is so much more wonderful and terrible there, and partly because in a foreign land one is apt to have strange caprices, I allowed myself to become the prey of a desire to see the arcanum concealed at the other end of all the wires; and thus, one day, under the high protection of a demigod of the electrical world, I paid a visit to a telephone-exchange in New York, and saw therein what nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand of the most ardent telephone-users seldom think about and will never see.

A murmuring sound, as of an infinity of scholars in a prim school conning their lessons, and a long row of young women seated in a dim radiance on a long row of precisely similar stools, before a long apparatus of holes and pegs and pieces of elastic cord, all extremely intent: that was the first broad impression. One saw at once that none of these young women had a single moment to spare; they were all involved in the tremendous machine, part of it, keeping pace with it and in it, and not daring to take their eyes off it for an instant, lest they should sin against it. What they were droning about it was impossible to guess; for if one stationed oneself close to any particular rapt young woman, she seemed to utter no sound, but simply and without ceasing to peg and unpeg holes at random among the thousands of holes before her, apparently in obedience to the signaling of faint, tiny lights that in thousands continually expired and were rekindled. (It was so that these tiny lights should be distinguishable that the illumination of the secret and finely appointed chamber was kept dim.) Throughout the whole length of the apparatus the colored elastic cords to which the pegs were attached kept crossing one another in fantastic patterns.

We who had entered were ignored. We might have been ghosts, invisible and inaudible. Even the supervisors, less-young women set in authority, did not turn to glance at us as they moved restlessly peering behind the stools. And yet somehow I could hear the delicate shoulders of all the young women saying, without speech: "Here come these tyrants and taskmasters again, who have invented this exercise which nearly but not quite cracks our little brains for us! They know exactly how much they can get out of us, and they get it. They are cleverer than us and more powerful than us; and we have to submit to their discipline. But - " And afar off I could hear: "What are you going to wear to-night?" "Will you dine with me to-night?" "I want two seats." "Very well, thanks, and how is Mrs....?" "When can I see you to-morrow?" "I'll take your offer for those bonds." ... And I could see the interiors of innumerable offices and drawing-rooms.... But of course I could hear and see nothing really except the intent drone and quick gesturing of those completely absorbed young creatures in the dim radiance, on stools precisely similar.

I understood why the telephone service was so efficient. I understood not merely from the demeanor of the long row of young women, but from everything else I had seen in the exact and diabolically ingenious ordering of the whole establishment.

We were silent for a time, as though we had entered a church. We were, perhaps unconsciously, abashed by the intensity of the absorption of these neat young women. After a while one of the guides, one of the inscrutable beings who had helped to invent and construct the astounding organism, began in a low voice on the forlorn hope of making me comprehend the mechanism of a telephone-call and its response. And I began on the forlorn hope of persuading him by intelligent acting that I did comprehend. We each made a little progress. I could not tell him that, though I genuinely and humbly admired his particular variety of genius, what interested me in the affair was not the mechanics, but the human equation. As a professional reader of faces, I glanced as well as I could sideways at those bent girls' faces to see if they were happy. An absurd inquiry! Do I look happy when I'm at work, I wonder! Did they then look reasonably content? Well, I came to the conclusion that they looked like most other faces - neither one thing nor the other. Still, in a great establishment, I would sooner search for sociological information in the faces of the employed than in the managerial rules.

"What do they earn?" I asked, when we emerged from the ten-atmosphere pressure of that intense absorption. (Of course I knew that no young women could possibly for any length of time be as intensely absorbed as these appeared to be. But the illusion was there, and it was effective.)

I learned that even the lowest beginner earned five dollars a week. It was just the sum I was paying for a pair of clean sheets every night at a grand hotel. And that the salary rose to six, seven, eight, eleven, and even fourteen dollars for supervisors, who, however, had to stand on their feet seven and a half hours a day, as shop-girls do for ten hours a day; and that in general the girls had thirty minutes for lunch, and a day off every week, and that the Company supplied them gratuitously with tea, coffee, sugar, couches, newspapers, arm-chairs, and fresh air, of which last fifty fresh cubic feet were pumped in for every operator every minute.

"Naturally," I was told, "the discipline is strict. There are test wires.... We can check the 'time elements.' ... We keep a record of every call. They'll take a dollar a week less in an outside place - for instance, a hotel.... Their average stay here is thirty months."

And I was told the number of exchanges there were in New York, exactly like the one I was seeing.

A dollar a week less in a hotel! How feminine! And how masculine! And how wise for one sort of young woman, and how foolish for another!... Imagine quitting that convent with its guaranteed fresh air, and its couches and sugar and so on, for the rough hazards and promiscuities of a hotel! On the other hand, imagine not quitting it!

Said the demigod of the electrical world, condescendingly: "All this telephone business is done on a mere few hundred horse-power. Come away, and I'll show you electricity in bulk."

And I went away with him, thoughtful. In spite of the inhuman perfection of its functioning, that exchange was a very human place indeed. It brilliantly solved some problems; it raised others. Excessively difficult to find any fault whatever in it! A marvelous service, achieved under strictly hygienic conditions - and young women must make their way through the world! And yet - Yes, a very human place indeed!

The demigods of the electric world do not condescend to move about in petrol motor-cars. In the exercise of a natural and charming coquetry they insist on electrical traction, and it was in the most modern and soundless electric brougham that we arrived at nightfall under the overhanging cornice-eaves of two gigantic Florentine palaces - just such looming palaces, they appeared in the dark, as may be seen in any central street of Florence, with a cinema-show blazing its signs on the ground floor, and Heaven knows what remnants of Italian aristocracy in the mysterious upper stories. Having entered one of the palaces, simultaneously with a tornado of wind, we passed through long, deserted, narrow galleries, lined with thousands of small, caged compartments containing "transformers," and on each compartment was a label bearing always the same words: "Danger, 6,600 volts." "Danger, 6,600 volts." "Danger, 6,600 volts." A wondrous relief when we had escaped with our lives from the menace of those innumerable volts! And then we stood on a high platform surrounded by handles, switches, signals - apparatus enough to put all New York into darkness, or to annihilate it in an instant by the unloosing of terrible cohorts of volts! - and faced an enormous white hall, sparsely peopled by a few colossal machines that seemed to be revolving and oscillating about their business with the fatalism of conquered and resigned leviathans. Immaculately clean, inconceivably tidy, shimmering with brilliant light under its lofty and beautiful ceiling, shaking and roaring with the terrific thunder of its own vitality, this hall in which no common voice could make itself heard produced nevertheless an effect of magical stillness, silence, and solitude. We were alone in it, save that now and then in the far-distant spaces a figure might flit and disappear between the huge glinting columns of metal. It was a hall enchanted and inexplicable. I understood nothing of it. But I understood that half the electricity of New York was being generated by its engines of a hundred and fifty thousand horse-power, and that if the spell were lifted the elevators of New York would be immediately paralyzed, and the twenty million lights expire beneath the eyes of a startled population. I could have gazed at it to this day, and brooded to this day upon the human imaginations that had perfected it; but I was led off, hypnotized, to see the furnaces and boilers under the earth. And even there we were almost alone, to such an extent had one sort of senseless matter been compelled to take charge of another sort of senseless matter. The odyssey of the coal that was lifted high out of ships on the tide beyond, to fall ultimately into the furnaces within, scarcely touched by the hand-wielded shovel, was by itself epical. Fresh air pouring in at the rate of twenty-four million cubic feet per hour cooled the entire palace, and gave to these stoke-holes the uncanny quality of refrigerators. The lowest horror of the steamship had been abolished here.

I was tempted to say: "This alone is fit to be called the heart of New York!"

They took me to the twin palace, and on the windy way thither figures were casually thrown at me. As that a short circuit may cause the machines to surge wildly into the sudden creation of six million horse-power of electricity, necessitating the invention of other machines to control automatically these perilous vagaries! As that in the down-town district the fire-engine was being abolished because, at a signal, these power-houses could in thirty seconds concentrate on any given main a pressure of three hundred pounds to the square inch, lifting jets of water perhaps above the roofs of sky-scrapers! As that the city could fine these power-houses at the rate of five hundred dollars a minute for any interruption of the current longer than three minutes - but the current had never failed for a single second! As that in one year over two million dollars' worth of machinery had been scrapped!... And I was aware that it was New York I was in, and not Timbuctoo.

In the other palace it appeared that the great American scrapping process was even yet far from complete. At first sight this other seemed to resemble the former one, but I was soon instructed that the former one was as naught to this one, for here the turbine - the "strong, silent man" among engines - was replacing the racket of cylinder and crank. Statistics are tiresome and futile to stir the imagination. I disdain statistics, even when I assimilate them. And yet when my attention was directed to one trifling block of metal, and I was told that it was the most powerful "unit" in the world, and that it alone would make electricity sufficient for the lighting of a city of a quarter of a million people, I felt that statistics, after all, could knock you a staggering blow.... In this other palace, too, was the same solitude of machinery, attending most conscientiously and effectively to itself. A singularly disconcerting spectacle! And I reflected that, according to dreams already coming true, the telephone-exchange also would soon be a solitude of clicking contact-points, functioning in mystic certitude, instead of a convent of girls requiring sugar and couches, and thirsting for love. A singularly disconcerting prospect!

But was it necessary to come to America in order to see and describe telephone-exchanges and electrical power-houses? Do not these wonders exist in all the cities of earth? They do, but not to quite the same degree of wondrousness. Hat-shops, and fine hat-shops, exist in New York, but not to quite the same degree of wondrousness as in Paris. People sing in New York, but not with quite the same natural lyricism as in Naples. The great civilizations all present the same features; but it is just the differences in degree between the same feature in this civilization and in that - it is just these differences which together constitute and illustrate the idiosyncrasy of each. It seems to me that the brains and the imagination of America shone superlatively in the conception and ordering of its vast organizations of human beings, and of machinery, and of the two combined. By them I was more profoundly attracted, impressed, and inspired than by any other non-spiritual phenomena whatever in the United States. For me they were the proudest material achievements, and essentially the most poetical achievements, of the United States. And that is why I am dwelling on them.

Further, there are business organizations in America of a species which do not flourish at all in Europe. For example, the "mail-order house," whose secrets were very generously displayed to me in Chicago - a peculiar establishment which sells merely everything (except patent-medicines) - on condition that you order it by post. Go into that house with money in your palm, and ask for a fan or a flail or a fur-coat or a fountain-pen or a fiddle, and you will be requested to return home and write a letter about the proposed purchase, and stamp the letter and drop it into a mail-box, and then to wait till the article arrives at your door. That house is one of the most spectacular and pleasing proofs that the inhabitants of the United States are thinly scattered over an enormous area, in tiny groups, often quite isolated from stores. On the day of my visit sixty thousand letters had been received, and every executable order contained in these was executed before closing time, by the co-ordinated efforts of over four thousand female employees and over three thousand males. The conception would make Europe dizzy. Imagine a merchant in Moscow trying to inaugurate such a scheme!

A little machine no bigger than a soup-plate will open hundreds of envelops at once. They are all the same, those envelops; they have even less individuality than sheep being sheared, but when the contents of one - any one at random - are put into your hand, something human and distinctive is put into your hand. I read the caligraphy on a blue sheet of paper, and it was written by a woman in Wyoming, a neat, earnest, harassed, and possibly rather harassing woman, and she wanted all sorts of things and wanted them intensely - I could see that with clearness. This complex purchase was an important event in her year. So far as her imagination went, only one mail-order would reach the Chicago house that morning, and the entire establishment would be strained to meet it.

Then the blue sheet was taken from me and thrust into the system, and therein lost to me. I was taken to a mysteriously rumbling shaft of broad diameter, that pierced all the floors of the house and had trap-doors on each floor. And when one of the trap-doors was opened I saw packages of all descriptions racing after one another down spiral planes within the shaft. There were several of these great shafts - with divisions for mail, express, and freight traffic - and packages were ceaselessly racing down all of them, laden with the objects desired by the woman of Wyoming and her fifty-nine-thousand-odd fellow-customers of the day. At first it seemed to me impossible that that earnest, impatient woman in Wyoming should get precisely what she wanted; it seemed to me impossible that some mistake should not occur in all that noisy fever of rushing activity. But after I had followed an order, and seen it filled and checked, my opinion was that a mistake would be the most miraculous phenomenon in that establishment. I felt quite reassured on behalf of Wyoming.

And then I was suddenly in a room where six hundred billing-machines were being clicked at once by six hundred young women, a fantastic aural nightmare, though none of the young women appeared to be conscious that anything bizarre was going on.... And then I was in a printing-shop, where several lightning machines spent their whole time every day in printing the most popular work of reference in the United States, a bulky book full of pictures, with an annual circulation of five and a half million copies - the general catalogue of the firm. For the first time I realized the true meaning of the word "popularity " - and sighed....

And then it was lunch-time for about a couple of thousand employees, and in the boundless restaurant I witnessed the working of the devices which enabled these legions to choose their meals, and pay for them (cost price) in a few moments, and without advanced mathematical calculations. The young head of the restaurant showed me, with pride, a menu of over a hundred dishes - Austrian, German, Hungarian, Italian, Scotch, French, and American; at prices from one cent up as high as ten cents (prime roast-beef) - and at the foot of the menu was his personal appeal: "I desire to extend to you a cordial invitation to inspect," etc. "My constant aim will be," etc. Yet it was not his restaurant. It was the firm's restaurant. Here I had a curious illustration of an admirable characteristic of American business methods that was always striking me - namely, the real delegation of responsibility. An American board of direction will put a man in charge of a department, as a viceroy over a province, saying, as it were: "This is yours. Do as you please with it. We will watch the results." A marked contrast this with the centralizing of authority which seems to be ever proceeding in Europe, and which breeds in all classes at all ages - especially in France - a morbid fear and horror of accepting responsibility.

Later, I was on the ground level, in the midst of an enormous apparent confusion - the target for all the packages and baskets, big and little, that shot every instant in a continuous stream from those spiral planes, and slid dangerously at me along the floors. Here were the packers. I saw a packer deal with a collected order, and in this order were a number of tiny cookery utensils, a four-cent curling-iron, a brush, and two incredibly ugly pink china mugs, inscribed in cheap gilt respectively with the words "Father" and "Mother." Throughout my stay in America no moment came to me more dramatically than this moment, and none has remained more vividly in my mind. All the daily domestic life of the small communities in the wilds of the West and the Middle West, and in the wilds of the back streets of the great towns, seemed to be revealed to me by the contents of that basket, as the packer wrapped up and protected one article after another. I had been compelled to abandon a visitation of the West and of the small communities everywhere, and I was sorry. But here in a microcosm I thought I saw the simple reality of the backbone of all America, a symbol of the millions of the little plain people, who ultimately make possible the glory of the world-renowned streets and institutions in dazzling cities.

There was something indescribably touching in that curling-iron and those two mugs. I could see the table on which the mugs would soon proudly stand, and "father" and "mother" and children thereat, and I could see the hand heating the curling-iron and applying it. I could see the whole little home and the whole life of the little home.... And afterward, as I wandered through the warehouses - pyramids of the same chair, cupboards full of the same cheap violin, stacks of the same album of music, acres of the same carpet and wallpaper, tons of the same gramophone, hundreds of tons of the same sewing-machine and lawn-mower - I felt as if I had been made free of the secrets of every village in every State of the Union, and as if I had lived in every little house and cottage thereof all my life! Almost no sense of beauty in those tremendous supplies of merchandise, but a lot of honesty, self-respect, and ambition fulfilled. I tell you I could hear the engaged couples discussing ardently over the pages of the catalogue what manner of bedroom suite they would buy, and what design of sideboard....

Finally, I arrived at the firm's private railway station, where a score or more trucks were being laden with the multifarious boxes, bales, and parcels, all to leave that evening for romantic destinations such as Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming. Yes, the package of the woman of Wyoming's desire would ultimately be placed somewhere in one of those trucks! It was going to start off toward her that very night!

Impressive as this establishment was, finely as it illustrated the national genius for organization, it yet lacked necessarily, on account of the nature of its activity, those outward phenomena of splendor which charm the stranger's eye in the great central houses of New York, and which seem designed to sum up all that is most characteristic and most dazzling in the business methods of the United States. These central houses are not soiled by the touch of actual merchandise. Nothing more squalid than ink ever enters their gates. They traffic with symbols only, and the symbols, no matter what they stand for, are never in themselves sordid. The men who have created these houses seem to have realized that, from their situation and their importance, a special effort toward representative magnificence was their pleasing duty, and to have made the effort with a superb prodigality and an astounding ingenuity.

Take, for a good, glorious example, the very large insurance company, conscious that the eyes of the world are upon it, and that the entire United States is expecting it to uphold the national pride. All the splendors of all the sky-scrapers are united in its building. Its foyer and grand staircase will sustain comparison with those of the Paris Opera. You might think you were going into a place of entertainment! And, as a fact, you are! This affair, with nearly four thousand clerks, is the huge toy and pastime of a group of millionaires who have discovered a way of honestly amusing themselves while gaining applause and advertisement. Within the foyer and beyond the staircase, notice the outer rooms, partitioned off by bronze grilles, looming darkly gorgeous in an eternal windowless twilight studded with the beautiful glowing green disks of electric-lamp shades; and under each disk a human head bent over the black-and-red magic of ledgers! The desired effect is at once obtained, and it is wonderful. Then lose yourself in and out of the ascending and descending elevators, and among the unending multitudes of clerks, and along the corridors of marble (total length exactly measured and recorded). You will be struck dumb. And immediately you begin to recover your speech you will be struck dumb again....

Other houses, as has been seen, provide good meals for their employees at cost price. This house, then, will provide excellent meals, free of charge! It will install the most expensive kitchens and richly spacious restaurants. It will serve the delicate repasts with dignity. "Does all this lessen the wages?" No, not in theory. But in practice, and whether the management wishes or not, it must come out of the wages. "Why do you do it?" you ask the departmental chief, who apparently gets far more fun out of the contemplation of these refectories than out of the contemplation of premiums received and claims paid. "It is better for the employees," he says. "But we do it because it is better for us. It pays us. Good food, physical comfort, agreeable environment, scientific ventilation - all these things pay us. We get results from them." He does not mention horses, but you feel that the comparison is with horses. A horse, or a clerk, or an artisan - it pays equally well to treat all of them well. This is one of the latest discoveries of economic science, a discovery not yet universally understood.

I say you do not mention horses, and you certainly must not hint that the men in authority may have been actuated by motives of humanity. You must believe what you are told - that the sole motive is to get results. The eagerness with which all heads of model establishments would disavow to me any thought of being humane was affecting in its naivete; it had that touch of ingenuous wistfulness which I remarked everywhere in America - and nowhere more than in the demeanor of many mercantile highnesses. (I hardly expect Americans to understand just what I mean here.) It was as if they would blush at being caught in an act of humanity, like school-boys caught praying. Still, to my mind, the white purity of their desire to get financial results was often muddied by the dark stain of a humane motive. I may be wrong (as people say), but I know I am not (as people think).

The further you advance into the penetralia of this arch-exemplar of American organization and profusion, the more you are amazed by the imaginative perfection of its detail: as well in the system of filing for instant reference fifty million separate documents, as in the planning of a concert-hall for the diversion of the human machines.

As we went into the immense concert-hall a group of girls were giving an informal concert among themselves. When lunch is served on the premises with chronographic exactitude, the thirty-five minutes allowed for the meal give an appreciable margin for music and play. A young woman was just finishing a florid song. The concert was suspended, and the whole party began to move humbly away at this august incursion.

"Sing it again; do, please!" the departmental chief suggested. And the florid song was nervously sung again; we applauded, the artiste bowed as on a stage, and the group fled, the thirty-five minutes being doubtless up. The departmental chief looked at me in silence, content, as much as to say: "This is how we do business in America." And I thought, "Yet another way of getting results!"

But sometimes the creators of the organization, who had provided everything, had been obliged to confess that they had omitted from their designs certain factors of evolution. Hat-cupboards were a feature of the women's offices - delightful specimens of sound cabinetry. And still, millinery was lying about all over the place, giving it an air of feminine occupation that was extremely exciting to a student on his travels. The truth was that none of those hats would go into the cupboards. Fashion had worsted the organization completely. Departmental chiefs had nothing to do but acquiesce in this startling untidiness. Either they must wait till the circumference of hats lessened again, or they must tear down the whole structure and rebuild it with due regard to hats.

Finally, we approached the sacred lair and fastness of the president, whose massive portrait I had already seen on several walls. Spaciousness and magnificence increased. Ceilings rose in height, marble was softened by the thick pile of carpets. Mahogany and gold shone more luxuriously. I was introduced into the vast antechamber of the presidential secretaries, and by the chief of them inducted through polished and gleaming barriers into the presence-chamber itself: a noble apartment, an apartment surpassing dreams and expectations, conceived and executed in a spirit of majestic prodigality. The president had not been afraid. And his costly audacity was splendidly justified of itself. This man had a sense of the romantic, of the dramatic, of the fit. And the qualities in him and his etat major which had commanded the success of the entire enterprise were well shown in the brilliant symbolism of that room's grandiosity.... And there was the president's portrait again, gorgeously framed.

He came in through another door, an old man of superb physique, and after a little while he was relating to me the early struggles of his company. "My wife used to say that for ten years she never saw me," he remarked.

I asked him what his distractions were, now that the strain was over and his ambitions so gloriously achieved. He replied that occasionally he went for a drive in his automobile.

"And what do you do with yourself in the evenings?" I inquired.

He seemed a little disconcerted by this perhaps unaccustomed bluntness.

"Oh," he said, casually, "I read insurance literature."

He had the conscious mien and manners of a reigning prince. His courtesy and affability were impeccable and charming. In the most profound sense this human being had succeeded, for it was impossible to believe that, had he to live his life again, he would live it very differently.

Such a type of man is, of course, to be found in nearly every country; but the type flourishes with a unique profusion and perfection in the United States; and in its more prominent specimens the distinguishing idiosyncrasy of the average American successful man of business is magnified for our easier inspection. The rough, broad difference between the American and the European business man is that the latter is anxious to leave his work, while the former is anxious to get to it. The attitude of the American business man toward his business is pre-eminently the attitude of an artist. You may say that he loves money. So do we all - artists particularly. No stock-broker's private journal could be more full of dollars than Balzac's intimate correspondence is full of francs. But whereas the ordinary artist loves money chiefly because it represents luxury, the American business man loves it chiefly because it is the sole proof of success in his endeavor. He loves his business. It is not his toil, but his hobby, passion, vice, monomania - any vituperative epithet you like to bestow on it! He does not look forward to living in the evening; he lives most intensely when he is in the midst of his organization. His instincts are best appeased by the hourly excitements of a good, scrimmaging commercial day. He needs these excitements as some natures need alcohol. He cannot do without them.

On no other hypothesis can the unrivaled ingenuity and splendor and ruthlessness of American business undertakings be satisfactorily explained. They surpass the European, simply because they are never out of the thoughts of their directors, because they are adored with a fine frenzy. And for the same reason they are decked forth in magnificence. Would a man enrich his office with rare woods and stuffs and marbles if it were not a temple? Would he bestow graces on the environment if while he was in it the one idea at the back of his head was the anticipation of leaving it? Watch American business men together, and if you are a European you will clearly perceive that they are devotees. They are open with one another, as intimates are. Jealousy and secretiveness are much rarer among them than in Europe. They show off their respective organizations with pride and with candor. They admire one another enormously. Hear one of them say enthusiastically of another: "It was a great idea he had - connecting his New York and his Philadelphia places by wireless - a great idea!" They call one another by their Christian names, fondly. They are capable of wonderful friendships in business. They are cemented by one religion - and it is not golf. For them the journey "home" is often not the evening journey, but the morning journey. Call this a hard saying if you choose: it is true. Could a man be happy long away from a hobby so entrancing, a toy so intricate and marvelous, a setting so splendid? Is it strange that, absorbed in that wondrous satisfying hobby, he should make love with the nonchalance of an animal? At which point I seem to have come dangerously near to the topic of the singular position of the American woman, about which everybody is talking....