cities do not exhibit, beyond a certain point, the breadth of atmosphere that one expects from a world's capital.
On the contrary, we find in Paris
, in Berlin
, in London
, a certain curious narrowness, an immense exaggeration of its own petty and local interests.
We meet there individual men of extraordinary knowledge in this or that direction, but the interchange of thought and feeling seems to lie within a ring-fence.
A good test of this is in the recent books of ‘reminiscences’ or ‘remembrances’ by accomplished men who have lived for years in the most brilliant circles of London
Each day is depicted as a string of pearls, but with only the names of the pearls mentioned; the actual jewels are not forthcoming.
A man breakfasts with one circle of wits and sages, lunches with another, dines with a third; and all this intellectual affluence yields him for his diary perhaps a single anecdote or repartee no better than are to be found by dozens in the corners of American country newspapers.
It recalls what a clever American artist once told me, that he had dined triumphantly through three English counties, and