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An International Episode - Henry James

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By Henry James


Four years ago--in 1874--two young Englishmen had occasion to go
to the United States.  They crossed the ocean at midsummer,
and, arriving in New York on the first day of August,
were much struck with the fervid temperature of that city.
Disembarking upon the wharf, they climbed into one of those huge
high-hung coaches which convey passengers to the hotels,
and with a great deal of bouncing and bumping, took their
course through Broadway.  The midsummer aspect of New York
is not, perhaps, the most favorable one; still, it is
not without its picturesque and even brilliant side.
Nothing could well resemble less a typical English street
than the interminable avenue, rich in incongruities,
through which our two travelers advanced--looking out on each
side of them at the comfortable animation of the sidewalks,
the high-colored, heterogeneous architecture, the huge white marble
facades glittering in the strong, crude light, and bedizened
with gilded lettering, the multifarious awnings, banners,
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