An International Episode - Henry James - Страница 1 из 102


AN INTERNATIONAL EPISODE
By Henry James
PART I
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, and streamers, the extraordinary number
of omnibuses, horsecars, and other democratic vehicles, the vendors of
cooling fluids, the white trousers and big straw hats of the policemen,
the tripping gait of the modish young persons on the pavement, the
general brightness, newness, juvenility, both of people and things. The
young men had exchanged few observations; but in crossing Union Square,
in front of the monument to Washington--in the very shadow, indeed,


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