Now the American knew quite all about these van Squibbers. He knew also that in New York, and Boston, and Philadelphia, and in many other places where existed a society with still some ragged remnants of decency and decorum left, one would not meet this highly star-spangled family "everywhere."
The hostess kept it up. Did the American know the Butteredbuns? No? Well, one met the Butteredbuns everywhere too. They were rather more extraordinary than the van Squibbers. And then there were the Cakewalks, and the Smith-Trapezes' Mrs. Smith-Trapeze wasn't as extraordinary as her daughter--the one that put the live frog in Lord Meldon's soup--and of course neither of them were "talked about" in the same way that the eldest Cakewalk girl was talked about. Everybody went to them, of course, because one really never knew what one might miss if one didn't go. At length the American said:
"You must correct me if I am wrong in an impression I have received. Vulgar Americans seem to me to get on very well in London."
The hostess paused for a moment, and then she said:
This acknowledgment was complete, and perfectly friendly, and after that all went better than it had gone before.
The half anecdote is a part of this one, and happened a few weeks later at table--dinner this time.
Sitting next to the same American was an English lady whose conversation led him to repeat to her what he had said to his hostess at lunch: "Vulgar Americans seem to get on very well in London society."
"They do," said the lady, "and I will tell you why. We English--I mean that set of English--are blase. We see each other too much, we are all alike in our ways, and we are awfully tired of it. Therefore it refreshes us and amuses us to see something new and different."
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