XX
PARTING GUESTS

HOWEVER the Golden Cross Inn may have inwardly or outwardly changed, the Golden Cross Hotel keeps its old place hard by the Charing Cross station, which is now so different from the station of the earlier day. I do not think it is one of the most sympathetic of the London stations. I myself prefer rather the sentiment of the good old Euston station, which continues for you the feeling of arrival in England, and keeps you in the glow of landing that you have, or had in the days when you always landed in Liverpool, and the constant Cunarders and Inmans ignored the upstart pretensions of Southampton and Plymouth to be ports of entry from the United States. But among the stations of minor autobiographical interest, Charing Cross is undoubtedly the first, and you may have your tenderness for it as the place where you took the train for the night- boat at Folkestone in first crossing to the continent. How strange it all was, and yet how not unfriendly; for there is always a great deal of human nature in England. She is very motherly, even with us children who ran away from home, and only come back now and then to make sure that we are glad of having done so. In the lamp-broken obscurity of the second-class carriage I am aware still of a youthful exile being asked his destination, and then his derivation, by a gentle old lady in the

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