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OF late years, and especially since the custom of a three-months summer vacation has existed, there has flourished in the conservatory of Harvard that gaudy, costly, and too-often-admired exotic, - the travelled man.
More than once has a good honest American youth shaken hands with his classmates after the "Annuals," in a natural, unaffected way, and too often has three months in England or on the Continent produced wonderful changes. He returns with a studied stammer or a cockney drawl, and pronounces all his a's as broad alphas.
It requires a moment for him to recall your face, and, this done, he assumes the tone of pity in asking how you have managed to live through the vacation "on this side." Piccadilly oozes from every square inch of his person. He "strolls" into a shop with you; asks the price of something; says, when answered, "Sixteen dollars? ah! three pounds four shillings. Yes, old man, yes, that's cheap." He corrects you frequently as to "good form," assuring you that he is right beyond question, for your expression is unknown outside "the States."
He whistles airs from Offenbach's latest, and takes pleasure in adding that it "has n't got here yet." He is delighted at your observing any of the many "points" noticeable about his clothes, remarking in a condescending tone that this cut or that fashion will become common in this country in a few years. Even his room shows many hints of his character. Le Journal Amusant and European guide-books lie on his table. Embouchoirs stand in the corner. German pipes and schlagers adorn his mantel. Standing before you, in front of the fire, in a French plaid breakfast-jacket, large checked trousers, silk socks and pumps, only stopping now and then to light a caporal, he will tell you long yarns of his experiences at the Mabille, the Students' Balls, the Argylle Rooms, or the Alhambra; and when you get up to go, he will close his remarks by deprecating the utter dulness of America.
S. E. E.
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