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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about Your United States.
is but one feature of its splendor 118
the horse-shows are wondrous displays of fashion 124
the sense of A mighty and culminating event sharpened the air 130
the victors leaving the field 134
university buildings—­university of Pennsylvania 156
Mitchell tower and Hutchinson Commons—­university of Chicago 164
part of the daily round of the indomitable new York woman 172
the astounding populousness of the east side 186

YOUR UNITED STATES

I

THE FIRST NIGHT

I sat with a melting ice on my plate, and my gaze on a very distant swinging door, through which came and went every figure except the familiar figure I desired.  The figure of a woman came.  She wore a pale-blue dress and a white apron and cap, and carried a dish in uplifted hands, with the gesture of an acolyte.  On the bib of the apron were two red marks, and as she approached, tripping, scornful, unheeding, along the interminable carpeted aisle, between serried tables of correct diners, the vague blur of her face gradually developed into features, and the two red marks on her stomacher grew into two rampant lions, each holding a globe in its ferocious paws; and she passed on, bearing away the dish and these mysterious symbols, and lessened into a puppet on the horizon of the enormous hall, and finally vanished through another door.  She was succeeded by men, all bearing dishes, but none of them so inexorably scornful as she, and none of them disappearing where she had disappeared; every man relented and stopped at some table or other.  But the figure I desired remained invisible, and my ice continued to melt, in accordance with chemical law.  The orchestra in the gallery leaped suddenly into the rag-time without whose accompaniment it was impossible, anywhere in the civilized world, to dine correctly.  That rag-time, committed, I suppose, originally by some well-intentioned if banal composer in the privacy of his study one night, had spread over the whole universe of restaurants like a pest, to the exasperation of the sensitive, but evidently to the joy of correct diners.  Joy shone in the elated eyes of the four hundred persons correctly dining together in this high refectory, and at the end there was honest applause!...  And yet you never encountered a person who, questioned singly, did not agree and even assert of his own accord that music at meals is an outrageous nuisance!...

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