an upper class, as it is called — in presence, that is, of a class of women recognized as being the right thing in style and manner, and whom she imagines criticising her
style and manner, finding this or that to be amiss with it, this or that to be vulgar.
Hence, self-consciousness and constraint in her. The American woman lives in presence of no such class; there may be circles trying to pass themselves off as such a class, giving themselves airs as such, but they command no recognition, no authority.
The American woman in general is perfectly unconcerned about their opinion, is herself, enjoys her existence, and has, consequently, a manner happy and natural.
It is her great charm; and it is moreover, as I have said, a real note of civilization, and one which has to be reckoned to the credit of American life, and of its equality.
But we must get nearer still to the heart of the question raised as to the character and worth of American civilization.
I have said how much the word civilization really means — the humanization of man in society; his making progress there towards his true and full humanity.
Partial and material achievement is always being put forward as civilization.
We hear a nation called highly civilized by reason of its industry, commerce, and wealth, or by reason of its liberty