AN AMERICAN IN ENGLAND
IF, instead of being human, I belonged to a breed of cattle or to any species of herb-eating beast, and could choose my country, I should choose England. It is the paradise for grazers. The climate is so moderate that the kine live outdoors, winter and summer, day and night; there is so much rain that the grass is ever dewy and lush; there are hardly any flies or biting insects; there is water, water everywhere, and all of it to drink; there are few vast lonely places--pleasant farms, hedgerows, and diversified scenery greet the eye. Furthermore, the men and women understand quadrupeds and treat them with respect.
It is only by studying maps that we realize the unimportance of size. A map that shows Siberia makes England look insignificant; but think of the comparative contributions of these two countries to history!
England has the same area as the State of Michigan or of North Carolina; but this area holds forty-five million people, the largest city in the world, and several other towns of over a million each; it contains an amazing variety of scenery, Roman remains, splendid mediaeval Gothic cathedrals, and the loveliest countryside in the world. Looking through the windows of the English train from Dover to London, one sees tidy villages, small farms divided by hedgerows, thousands of trees with star-proof foliage; the very atmosphere seems denser and more soft. I can only vaguely imagine the heartrending homesickness that must torture Englishmen under the pitiless glare of
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Publication information: Book title: Autobiography, with Letters. Contributors: William Lyon Phelps - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1939. Page number: 757.
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