previous next
[71] anxious about the sameness of our cities; the streets numbered one way, the avenues the other. ‘Can the young heart,’ they ask, ‘attach definite associations or tender emotions with an Arabic figure? Is there romance in numeration?’ Probably they carry the criticism too far. As Nature, according to Emerson, loves the number five, so does the well-bred New Yorker. Surely ‘Fifth Avenue’ has as definite and distinctive a meaning for him as if there were no other number in the universe; and I am sure that in every city there is some youth who cannot look up at the street-sign denoting some Twenty-third Street or Thirty-fifth Street without a slight spasm of the heart. Such associations last a great while, even if the street be disagreeable; the philosopher Descartes was enamored in his youth with a young lady who squinted a little, and it is said that he never through life could behold without the tenderest emotion a woman having a cast in her eye. If Descartes was permanently sentimental about orbs that were crooked, cannot others be so about streets that are straight?

Still, in the long run, monotony is not satisfying;

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
R. W. Emerson (1)
Rene Descartes (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: